Aakash Chopra believes that New Zealand is not among favorites when it comes to the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE. He added that they will get stiff competition from the sides such as Afghanistan in the event.
The Blackcaps have been on a roll in recent times having being crowned the inaugural World Test Champions after beating India in the WTC Final. They have been the runners-up in the past 2 ICC Cricket World Cups (2015 and 2019) as well. But when it comes to the shortest format, they have not been as successful as they are in the other 2 formats.
In the forthcoming T20 World Cup, the Kane Williamson-led side has been clubbed in a group that has 2 former champions & Asian giants India, Pakistan along with Afghanistan, and two other qualifiers.
Aakash Chopra talking on his Youtube channel said that even though the New Zealand side most often than not punch above their wieghts, he doesn’t see them playing well in the UAE conditions. He added that India and Pakistan have better chances in this group to proceed further
“Overall, this team is alright. They are in India’s pool, where Pakistan and Afghanistan are also there. Even Afghanistan can give this team a competition and trouble them, honestly speaking,” Aakash Chopra said.
“They are a good team. They punch above their weight and they have the ability to become a fist. They won the World Test Championship and lost the 2019 World Cup just because the match got tied,” he added.
“I have a doubt this time that New Zealand will end up at the podium. Of course, they do surprise everyone but these are the UAE conditions. I see Pakistan and India’s chances extremely bright in this group,” he explained.
“I think they might just struggle, even though like Australia, this team also looks fairly balanced and power-packed. They have the match-winners but will they win? We will do a slightly more deep-dive analysis before the World Cup.”
New Zealand squad for T20 World Cup 2021
Kane Williamson (C), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, *Adam Milne ( To travel as injury cover)
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