Williamson Patel key to Kiwi win

Former Canterbury cricket player and coach Garry MacDonald is certainly well qualified to judge New Zealand’s chances in next week’s much anticipated World Championship cricket test grand final against India in England.

He coached their coach Gary Stead as a player, he knows how Stead and the New Zealand team operates and he gives them every chance of tipping over hot favourites India against the odds.

Here are MacDonald’s views.
 

WILLIAMSON, PATEL KEY TO NZ WIN

Excitement is growing as we approach the World Championship cricket test grand final between our Black Caps and India. I must admit that when this game was first muted, I was a little ho-hum about the prospects of it really catching the interest of cricket lovers around the globe. Possibly it was viewed as just another quirky game for revenue gathering via television or any sponsors who could be persuaded to back the fixture when it rolled around.
 

As time has passed it is obvious that interest has grown immensely from all the test playing nations and public alike. I may be biased in this view as my country is involved in the final, but I consider myself as hard to convince around hybrid games and competitions, with traditional formats king in my view, so I have even surprised myself in my excitement of this match.

The question of course, CAN NZ SERIOUSLY WIN THIS MATCH…. My answer… DAMN RIGHT WE CAN
 

It will be a huge mountain to climb against the might of India, whose support base for the team around the world is possibly the most fanatical and numerically the largest of any sport on the globe, as well as a team that is incredibly good, but it can be done. My reasons for having this view is that I honestly believe we have strengths within our team that will and have, tested any cricket nation in the world including India.

Firstly, the current Black Caps as a group are very unselfish. They are also happy within the team and enjoy each other’s company. I have taken particular notice in watching on TV when the camera beams in on our boys in the viewing areas when we are batting, that there seems to be no cliques or the same mini groups within the team that always sit with each other.
 

I have noticed senior players chatting with the newbies and it is obvious that this team is very united. It can be very much underestimated how important the team culture is, especially in the heat of battle is at its most intense, which it will be in this game from start to finish.

This NZ team is also very efficient. They are obviously confident in their processes, their game plans and in their ability to adapt to adversity that comes their way during the game. They are also ruthless in creating pressure on opposition teams and when they feel they have the ascendancy, they strike and strike hard.
 

The NZ cricket team has for some years been branded as the ‘nice guys’ of World cricket. I would suggest don’t be fooled into thinking that these lads don’t have a steely desire to put the foot on the opposition throat when the time is right, they just do this with a quiet humility with no dramatics or histrionics.

Firstly, the current Black Caps as a group are very unselfish. They are also happy within the team and enjoy each other’s company.

Let’s now look at any advantages these two teams may have over each other.
 

Firstly, in Tim Southee and Trent Boult we have two of the best swing bowlers in the game. We can throw Kyle Jamieson into the mix as well for his ability to swing the ball both ways and we have a very potent swing attack.

Swing is one of the bowling types that Indian batsman struggle with the most. They are raised in hot dry conditions and on generally low bouncing wickets that do not swing. If we get overhead conditions that support swing bowling then I would definitely put us ahead on that count.
 

To support that, it could easily be argued that we are superior in the fielding department. Our catching has been outstanding for many seasons now and we carry no passengers in the field no matter who we pick.

The spin bowling would go India’s way, they have three quality spinners to chose from and will probably play two of them (Ravi Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin). It was pleasing to see Ajaz Patel doing well for us in the last test against England and getting the key wicket of Joe Root in the second innings.
 

The batting lineups are generating the most interest with most cricket followers. Our batting order selects itself down to six (Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry,Nicholls, BJ Watling). When it comes down to who bats at seven the tendency has been to play Colin de Grandhomme at seven but left-arm spinner Patel absolutely must play which would mean de Grandhomme misses out in my team.

If our top six can’t get enough runs to give us a chance to win this test, then relying on a number seven who is a bowler to go along with Boult, Southee, Neil Wagner and Jamieson at the expense of a spinner makes little sense to me.
 

I understand that there is the possibility of a sixth day being added onto this test if needed so not playing a spinner for that reason alone would be stupid. I would also make this point. It will be extremely difficult to win this test if Kane Williamson does not score heavily. He is without doubt the key to our batting, not withstanding that the rest of our top order batsman are highly competent and in form. Captain Kane’s batting is a massive key to our success and without him doing well, our chances diminish markedly.

The Indian batting needs little explanation, they have massive artillery at their disposal and deep in their order as well. They will be confident that they will out bat us, however it didn’t work out that way in the recent series here in New Zealand so let’s see about that.
 

So… we are ready to go and I can’t wait. Our Black Caps are a bloody good side who are not full appreciated enough even in our own country which is sad, but let’s not dwell on negativities. Since the time of Brendon McCallum this team know how to win and I wish them all the very best.

GO WELL LADS

Featured Image: GO NEW ZEALAND- Fervent Black Caps supporter Garry MacDonald, pictured with his partner Lesley Jones at a Black Caps test in Tauranga last season

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