Seven reasons the Black Caps will win the World Cup

Kane Williamson has the chance to make history by leading the Black Caps to their first Cricket...
Kane Williamson has the chance to make history by leading the Black Caps to their first Cricket World Cup victory. Photo: Reuters
The Black Caps shocked the cricketing world by beating India. Here are seven reasons this team can do it again and go one better than in 2015 whether we play Australia or England in the final.

1. It's just one more game. Anything can happen in cricket and the win against India was far from the first time the Black Caps have won against more favoured opposition. No matter what form the winner of Australia vs England bring into the final a few stunning pieces of cricket - like Martin Guptill's run-out or Jimmy Neesham's catch - can turn the match in the Black Caps favour.

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2. The Black Caps are fighters. The team has fought poor form, poor pitches and comeback from poor positions to still be standing at the backend of the competition. Other teams may have looked more accomplished but winning the crucial moments is all that matters in tournament cricket. So far the Black Caps have won enough of those moments to make it into the final and they can do it again in the team's most important match since the 2015 World Cup final.

3. A lot of air time has been dedicated to the lack of back-up for Kane Williamson in the Black Caps batting line-up, but in the mean time our bowlers have been more than making up for our short-comings with the bat. It would be nice if Guptill stepped up in the final, but the Black Caps showed against India the bowlers can win it after relying on Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to put up a competitive total.

Matt Henry and Trent Boult can get out the best batsmen in the world cheaply, Lockie Ferguson can take wickets in the middle and Mitchell Santner can contain and force players into stupid shots. To top it off Neesham is bowling better than he ever has for the Black Caps meaning our fifth bowler has not proven as much of a weakness as it appeared leading into the tournament.

Trent Boult celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of India's Virat Kohli. Photo:...
Trent Boult celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of India's Virat Kohli. Photo: Reuters
4. We are still the underdogs. Neither Australia or England will take the Black Caps lightly in the final, but whoever wins the other semi will become the favourites and will go in with heavier expectations. The Black Caps can go in knowing they have already gone further than most expected. But for Australia and England success at this World Cup means winning the whole tournament. That means pressure.

5. Williamson's mantra at this World Cup has been adapting to the conditions. After every match he hammers home the point in interviews and he has followed the mantra to perfection in crucial moments. As viewers and commentators were cursing he and Taylor's slow partnership against India, he had assessed that 240 would be competitive.  The ability to adapt has been an absolute necessity at this World Cup as pitch conditions confound expectations. Pitches which have looked like roads have turned out to be slow and two-paced. The ability to adapt could win us the World Cup.

6. As much as the Black Caps have shown an ability to adapt to conditions England have shown the opposite. England's return to form has coincided with playing on good batting tracks. But when the wicket has been spicy they have been unwilling to adapt their game which almost cost them a place in the semi-finals. The pitch in Manchester showed that even in the late stage of the tournament a flat track is not guaranteed. And if England make it into the final their inability to contain their ultra-aggressive attitude to batting may cost them.

7. Australia pose more of a threat in spicy conditions because they, and in particular Aaron Finch and David Warner, have shown an ability to battle through tough periods and conserve their wickets. However, this Australian team is not as good as the 2015 edition. While Warner has quickly returned to form after coming back from his sandpaper-gate exile Steve Smith has not. Glenn Maxwell has also under-performed, Usman Khawaja is out with injury and Marcus Stoinis is yet to fire. As South Africa proved in the final round-robin game, Australia are beatable. 

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