The ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup is currently in full swing, and soon it will advance to the Super 12s, where New Zealand will participate.
The Black Caps, who lost to the eventual champions Australia last year, will undoubtedly be among the favourites this time around as they try to exact revenge on their opponents.
And before their opening match against Australia on Saturday, we take a closer look at the New Zealand team.
In Group 1 of the Super 12s, which also includes two additional teams—one from Group A and one from Group B in the first round—New Zealand will play alongside Afghanistan, Australia, and England.
To advance to the knockout stage, as they did in the first two T20 World Cups, they must finish in the top two spots among those six teams.
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The Kiwis begin the league with a mixed record; they have recently won against Bangladesh (twice) and Pakistan in a T20 tri-series, but they have also recently lost against South Africa and Pakistan.
Their inconsistent form is demonstrated by a prior 3-0 series loss to the West Indies, but they will be aiming to improve going into Australia.
New Zealand hopes to reach the semi-finals for a third time in a row after doing so in each of the past two World Cups, but with Afghanistan, England, and Australia all present, it might be more difficult than it sounds.
T20 World Cup History
Since the first ICC Men's T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007—where they lost to Pakistan in the semifinals—New Zealand has participated in every single one of them.
The Black Caps were unable to go past the Super 8s or Super 10s and into the semifinals in their following four seasons in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014.
But the Black Caps ultimately made it back to the knockout stages nine years after their previous appearance, with all aspects of New Zealand cricket substantially improving at the same time. They fell short to England in that semifinal by a margin of seven wickets, but they improved in 2021.
New Zealand defeated England by five wickets to advance to the knockout rounds of the T20 World Cup for the second time in a row. However, in the final, they were defeated by neighbouring Australia by eight wickets. They now aim to surpass that feat by winning the inaugural ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
When comparing Kane Williamson to the other top batsmen on the New Zealand cricket team, there is just no comparison.
Williamson is still one of the top players in the world today and is arguably New Zealand's greatest player in history. Williamson was a vital part of the Black Caps' ascent to prominence in all three forms of the game.
Williamson, who is most known for excelling in Test cricket and currently sits sixth in the batting rankings there, has a T20 international batting average of 32.72 and a maximum score of 95.
Williamson led the Black Caps in scoring in the team's recent tight loss against Pakistan, scoring 59 off 38 balls to demonstrate his form.
Devon Conway, who is ranked sixth in the ICC MRF Tyres Men's T20I Player Rankings, will serve as the opening batter for New Zealand.
He is the guy to lead the Black Caps alongside Martin Guptill, averaging an astounding 52.27 from his 25 innings and posting a tantalising top score of 99 not out.
Although New Zealand's bowling lineup isn't as strong as their batting lineup, they do have some excellent bowlers.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who have been teammates for years and, like Williamson, have mastered all three formats during New Zealand's most illustrious run, are the other half of their enduring alliance.
One of the most powerful opening bowling combinations in this year's World Cup is undoubtedly Southee and Boult, who both have tremendous T20 histories.
Boult's average is even more spectacular, capturing 66 wickets at a rate of 22.71, while Southee's 122 T20 international wickets have come at a rate of 24.62.
Spinner Mitchell Santner, who is ranked 12th in the world and with 80 wickets and 22.4, completes the duo.
Australia v New Zealand T20 World Cup Super-12 Opener Sold Out
The ICC Men's T20 World Cup hosts Australia will start defending their championship in front of a packed house at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the first Super 12 match officially being declared a sell-out.
On Saturday, October 22, at 6 p.m. AEDT, Aaron Finch's squad will take on Kane Williamson's New Zealand in a rematch of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 Final.
The following matches still have tickets available for fans to see these teams:
AUSTRALIA’S T20 WORLD CUP FIXTURE
Australia V Group A winner, Perth Stadium, Tue 25 Oct, 7 pm AWST
Australia V England, MCG, Fri 28 Oct, 7 pm AEDT
Australia V Group B runner-up, Gabba, Mon 31 Oct, 6 pm AEST
Australia V Afghanistan, Adelaide Oval, Fri 4 Nov, 6:30 pm ACST
NEW ZEALAND’S T20 WORLD CUP FIXTURE
New Zealand V Afghanistan, MCG, Wed 26 Oct, 7 pm AEDT
New Zealand V Group A winner, SCG, Sat 29 Oct, 7 pm AEDT
New Zealand V England, Gabba, Tue 1 Nov, 6 pm AEST
New Zealand V Group B runner-up, Adelaide Oval, Fri 4 Nov, 2:30 pm ACST
Fans have already purchased more than 600,000 tickets to watch the inaugural ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia.
The following night's India vs. Pakistan game at the MCG on October 23 will also be played in front of a packed house thanks to the quick sale of extra standing-room tickets that were made available two months ago.
With the advent of an official T20 World Cup resale website, fans now have a safe and secure means to purchase and resell tickets at face value and guarantee that as many tickets as possible are used.
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup CEO Michelle Enright said: “The T20 World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and we’re delighted that we’re set to see big crowds for both the opening match of the event in Geelong this Sunday and the first weekend of the Super 12 stage in a week.”
“It’s going to be fantastic to see full stadiums for cricket in October and a great way for fans to celebrate the first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.”
“No matter if you support Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, or any other team, there are still some great seats available at matches right across the seven host cities, so I’d encourage everyone who hasn’t secured their tickets to jump on board for what will be an unmissable event.”
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