x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Champions Trophy: New Zealand key facts

Ross Taylor is yet to make a contribution of match-deciding proportions since he was unceremoniously dumped from the captaincy, but he has hinted at a return to form of late.

Key man - Ross Taylor

Yet to make a contribution of match-deciding proportions since he was unceremoniously dumped from the captaincy, but he has hinted at a return to form of late. Taylor made a counter-attacking half-century in difficult conditions in the opening Test of the summer at Lord's, then did the same at Headingley. Assuming Martin Guptill cannot maintain the extraordinary form he has showed in two ODIs in the series against England, Taylor will be the backbone of their batting line-up.

 

Why they will win it

New Zealand will be sad to see the end of the Champions Trophy when it makes way for the new World Test Championship, seeing as it is one global tournament in which they have enjoyed success. The Black Caps won the 2000 edition of what was then called the ICC Knock Out, when they beat India in the final. Their form is excellent for a repeat, too, having wrapped up a comprehensive win in no time over the host nation in their bilateral series.

 

Why they will not win it

Because they will lose in the semi-finals. Like always. The Black Caps and last-four exits are as synonymous as the Swiss and chocolate, and New Zealand cricket teams termed "dark horses". That and, more practically, because they lack the firepower with the ball to blast out sides with strong batting line-ups.

 

Squad (ODIs)

Brendon McCullum (c) 214

Ian Butler 26

Doug Bracewell 7

Grant Elliott 45

James Franklin 106

Martin Guptill 71

Mitchell McClenaghan 6

Nathan McCullum 48

Kyle Mills 149

Colin Munro 2

Luke Ronchi 6

Tim Southee 67

Ross Taylor 121

Daniel Vettori 272

Kane Williamson 41

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