World Cup Hopes
“One could make the argument that Black Caps have punched above their weight at the World Cup just as easily as you could say they are chokers,” Stuart Hess writes for South Africa’s Independent Online. “The Black Caps have played in every World Cup and been to five semifinals; yet never got over that latter hump. The fact they’ve got to five semifinals can be viewed as a tribute to their skill and creativity, but also to have never made the final, is indicative of a team that lacks the mental resilience on the big occasion. If they can rely on the innovative thinking that was such a part of Fleming’s era as captain and which caught everyone off-guard – like when they opened the bowling with a spinner in 1992 – New Zealand might go further than many sceptics think. The quarterfinals looks a good bet though; but once the tournament is over one can’t help but think another overhaul will occur, after all Wright wants to put his mark on this team and Vettori’s giving up the captaincy.” The 211 ICC Cricket World Cup, hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, begins on February 19.