Former New Zealand skipper and the current head coach of the England Test side, Brendon McCullum, has said the Black Caps’ ability to stay composed and handle pressure makes then a dangerous side going into the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
New Zealand — 2021 T20 World Cup runners-up — will begin their campaign in this edition of the global tournament on October 22 against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in a repeat of the final in the UAE last year.
While their form has been iffy coming into the 2022 T20 World Cup, the former New Zealand opener believes the Kiwis cannot be written off on cricket’s biggest stage.
“One thing that you can never write the New Zealand team off (in) is when it comes to World Cups,” McCullum told SENZ Breakfast. “They just have an incredible ability to stay composed and really disciplined for what needs to be done in pressure moments.
“I expect them to be there or thereabouts again,” added McCullum, under whose guidance England have won six of the seven Test matches this summer.
McCullum feels while New Zealand may have taken some positives from their recent Tri-Series encounters against Bangladesh and Pakistan in Christchurch, he averred they have been far from their best of late.
“Obviously the last little while hasn’t been as productive as it has been over the last few years,” McCullum added. “The standards that they’ve set for themselves and the performance levels that they’ve been able to achieve have been quite remarkable.
“The level of consistency they’ve been able to garner as well in quite an inconsistent game has been a real credit to the leadership and to some once-in-a-generation players who’ve been part of the same team. They’ve been incredibly well led by Kane Williamson and some of the senior players as well.
“So it hasn’t been as fruitful or as productive in the last little while but if you look at some of the margins… a lot of the games that they’ve gone down in, it’s been really fine margins,” added McCullum.