With the 2019 cricket world cup commencing on Thursday, May 30 with the game between hosts England and South Africa, former New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin spoke about his team saying being the perennial underdogs suits the ‘black caps’ perfectly.
“New Zealand are in a sweet spot. No-one’s talking about us too much," said Franklin at the Opening Party on The Mall in London, on the eve of the first match.
“We’re forever the underdogs and that suits us quite well.
“We haven’t been leading the world, I think England have been in front in recent years, but we’ve still been playing very consistent cricket.
“If we can get some form going over the next few weeks, there’s no reason why New Zealand couldn’t go on and win the World Cup.
“I think the New Zealand public and team will be confident they can go deep into the tournament."
New Zealand has made the semi-final of the World Cup seven times, and has climbed as high as second spot in the ICC ODI rankings. And Franklin, who himself has made 15 world cup appearances spoke about Kane Williamson’s captaincy which has seen the side do so well in the past.
“I think Kane has a quietness about him, but he’s assertive and he knows what he wants," he said.
“In terms of his leadership, his batting is probably a reflection of it. It’s methodical, but sneakily efficient and world-class.
“I think his captaincy is exactly the same. I don’t think he’s a Brendon McCullum-style leader, when you see everything and it’s attacking.
“Kane is measured, but knows exactly how he wants to manage his bowlers, his batsmen and what he wants New Zealand cricket to achieve."
New Zealand begin their world cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday, June 1.