New Zealand – 2019 Cricket World Cup Preview

In this preview, we will take a look at a team who many think have a good chance of success at the 2019 World Cup. The New Zealand 2019 Cricket World Cup odds make the team fifth favourites for the title. With that in mind, we will analyse all their strengths and weaknesses while looking at the key man who makes these Kiwis tick.

We’ll also look at the history of a team who took part in the very first World Cup back in 1975.

How New Zealand got to the 2019 World Cup

New Zealand qualified automatically for the 2019 World Cup under a process laid down by the ICC. The regulations stated that, along with the hosts England, the next seven highest ranked ODI teams would go straight to the tournament without the need for any qualification matches.

Following their 3-0 series win over Bangladesh in 2019, New Zealand rose to third place in the ICC world rankings. They were not rated as highly as that when the World Cup cut-off point came. Nevertheless, they were always comfortable qualifiers for the 2019 tournament.

New Zealand’s odds to win the 2019 World Cup

Betway and Betrally are both quoting odds of 9.00 on the New Zealand 2019 Cricket World Cup team winning this year’s contest. If they do it, they will be the first team from this country to lift the trophy. So, can they really rewrite Cricket World Cup history?

The Kiwis made it to the final of the 2015 tournament. And, as of February 2019, they have risen to that number three position in the World Rankings.  Yes, India brushed them aside in the 50 over format recently. But they still remain a dangerous side.

New Zealand’s History in the World Cup

New Zealand have yet to win the World Cup. They have gone deep into the tournament on occasions, though, and are often fancied by bettors as the ‘Dark Horse’. It all began back in 1975 in the very first tournament which was held in England. In favourable conditions, the Kiwis made it out of the groups and into the semi finals. At which point, eventual champions the West Indies beat them.

– 1981 to 1996

Four years later, New Zealand made it through to the semis once again. But it was to end in further heartbreak as hosts England ended their challenge thanks to a narrow, nine run victory. By 1983, sides around the world had begun to take One Day cricket far more seriously. The tournament returned to England and was far more competitive. While New Zealand managed some good performances in the group stages, though, they narrowly failed to make it to the knockout rounds.

In 1987, New Zealand could only manage two wins . They were subsequently eliminated in the groups on the back of that poor record. The squad of 1992 therefore hoped for better fortunes when they co-hosted the tournament along with Australia. A Martin Crowe-inspired team topped the groups in the new Round Robin format. However, eventual winners Pakistan defeated them in the semis.

On to 1996 where a new brand of ODI cricket brought success for Sri Lanka. Their pinch hitting heroics led to a first World Title while New Zealand crashed at the first knockout stage once again. In the quarter finals, a brilliant 130 from Chris Harris wasn’t enough as Australia chased down 286 with 13 balls to spare.

– 1999 to 2007

England were the main hosts for the 1999 tournament. So how would the Kiwis fare in conditions that had favoured them in the past? We saw a familiar pattern here as New Zealand made it through the groups and the new Super Six round. Sadly for supporters, they fell in the first knockout round once again. This time losing by a big nine wicket margin to Pakistan.

The 2003 tournament headed to Africa with the Kiwis making it out of the groups. But still, the pattern for reaching the knockouts came to a close as the side dropped out during the Super Six stage.

On we go to 2007 where the West Indies played World Cup hosts for the first time. In a tournament dominated by Australia, New Zealand won all three of their matches and they scraped through the Super Six. But by now, readers will have guessed what came next. A heavy semi final defeat by Sri Lanka left the Kiwis with another long wait for that first World Cup final appearance.

– 2011 to 2015

2011 provided the side with another opportunity. After making it out of the groups, New Zealand actually won a knockout game, inflicting a heavy defeat on South Africa. A loss to Sri Lanka in the semi finals followed, but this was progress and it was to continue in 2015.

New Zealand and Australia resumed their roles as co-hosts. They were then destined to meet in the final. Before that, the Kiwis had sealed a thrilling one wicket win over the Aussies as they topped group A.

A huge win over the West Indies followed after New Zealand had posted a mammoth 393/6. Momentum continued into the semis against South Africa as Grant Elliott led a brilliant run chase. The final was to prove a step too far, though. New Zealand batted first and posted just 183, which was never enough as Australia chased it down with more than 16 overs to spare in one of the greatest Cricket World Cup matches ever.

Always a threat, 2015 remains New Zealand’s best performance at a World Cup. But can they go one better this year?

New Zealand’s best player heading into the 2019 World Cup

Followers of the Indian Premier League will need no introduction to the man who we have labelled as the New Zealand 2019 Cricket World Cup key player. Kane Williamson was the leading run scorer at IPL 11 and is a big favourite with fans of his franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad.

At international level, he is simply New Zealand’s classiest batter in all three formats. And he has proved that you don’t have to be a mere power hitter to succeed. Following New Zealand’s ODI series with Bangladesh, Williamson had reached number 11 in the World ODI rankings. That may seem low for a key player, but anyone who watches him regularly will know we’ve made the right choice.

He has over 5,500 runs in this international format with 11 centuries and a best of 145. So look out for Kane Williamson, who is due a big tournament.

New Zealand 2019 Cricket World Cup Schedule

Here is a full list of the New Zealand 2019 Cricket World Cup confirmed fixtures for the 2019 World Cup. Included are dates for the knockout stages, if they were to progress that far.

Date Venue Opponents
June 1st Cardiff Sri Lanka
June 5th The Oval Bangladesh
June 8th Taunton Afghanistan
June 13th Trent Bridge India
June 19th Edgbaston South Africa
June 22nd Old Trafford West Indies
June 26th Edgbaston Pakistan
June 29th Lord’s Australia
July 3rd Durham England
July 9th Old Trafford Semi Final One
July 11th Edgbaston Semi Final Two
July 14th Lord’s Final

New Zealand’s biggest question mark heading into the World Cup

The New Zealand 2019 Cricket World Cup team have fine batsmen and some excellent seamers. However, the lack of a high quality spinner is their main question mark. Yes, Ish Sodhi is a competent leggie. And Mitchell Santner is also a useful left arm orthodox. But neither man is genuine world class.

Some might dispute that theory. Nevertheless, we feel that Sodhi in particular can be expensive while neither will take a big haul of ODI wickets on a consistent basis. The seamers will need to compensate if the Kiwis are to go all the way.

New Zealand’s biggest area of strength heading into the World Cup

Bowling is under the spotlight in the New Zealand 2019 Cricket World Cup team. Still, there are certainly no issues with their batting lineup. The top order contains plenty of power hitting from the likes of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls, while it’s balanced by the more patient styles of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham.

With some useful all-rounders to follow, this can be a devastating lineup that can continually power New Zealand to totals of 350+.