They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, and there would be nothing cooler than New Zealand beating Australia in their own back yard when both teams take to the cricket pitch. Australia will be hosting the upcoming 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, scheduled to run between 16 October and 13 November.
Normally held bi-annually, the 2020 edition was delayed because of the global pandemic, which meant the tournament was eventually switched from India to the United Arab Emirates and Oman. After an excellent run in the group stage of the T20 World Cup, rescheduled and held in 2021, New Zealand beat England in the semi-finals and faced Australia in the final.
Unfortunately for New Zealand, their spectacular form at the tournament eventually reached its limit. The Black Caps were narrowly defeated in a tense final by the Australians, as the ultimate glory in this fast-paced version of cricket slipped from their grasp. Now the chance to exact some revenge is just around the corner.
Difficult challenge ahead for the Kiwis
Having reached the previous final, New Zealand will certainly fancy their chances of competing well, once the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup commences. Nevertheless, they have been drawn against phenomenally tough opponents in the group phase of the tournament. New Zealand will compete against host nation Australia, along with England and Afghanistan.
The remaining two rivals of Group 1 will be known once the First Round of the World Cup concludes, as eight other nations battle for the four spots available in the main group stage. Possible opponents could include Sri Lanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe, and United Arab Emirates, who are the sides tipped to progress.
However, the biggest challenge for New Zealand will come from their opening match at the 2022 World Cup, against none other than Australia. Aside from being an early opportunity to avenge the 2021 final defeat, getting a positive result will be absolutely vital in such a competitive group, needing to finish amongst the top two for progress to the knockout stage.
England will also be fearsome opponents, even if New Zealand managed to defeat them in the 2022 World Cup semi-finals, while Afghanistan are a side that cannot be taken lightly. They boast several excellent individual talents, including Mohammad Nabi, who currently tops the latest official ICC T20 all-rounder rankings. Rashid Khan will also be a serious bowling threat.
Indeed, none of the group opponents can be taken lightly by New Zealand, who will need to demonstrate their best form to progress from the group stage. Amongst the best players for the Black Caps will be batter Devon Conway, considered to be amongst the ten best in the world, alongside Mitchell Santner, who ranks amongst the ten most productive bowlers.
Black Caps tipped as outsiders
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of any T20 World Cup, given the quickfire pace of this cricket format, surprising results can and quite frequently do happen. One mistake such as a missed catch can make all the difference, as can both individual and collective form on any given day.
New Zealand was often considered to be just outside the major powers in world cricket, although that appears to have changed in the last decade or so. They reached the last two One Day International (ODI) World Cup finals in 2015 and 2019, albeit suffering defeat in both. Reaching the T20 World Cup final in 2022 was their first appearance in this format, although it is one they will be keen to repeat. But what do the bookies think ahead of the next tournament?
Well, considering the fact that odds can vary significantly from one bookmaker to the next, getting trustworthy reviews for online sports betting sites in NZ is definitely worthwhile, especially when accompanied by detailed analysis and expert opinions. Also helpful is an overview of where the best odds and offers can be found, particularly with reference to cricket betting.
Looking at several of the leading betting sites, one month ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup tournament, there are mixed opinions about New Zealand. Current odds place India and Australia as joint favourites, with England just a fraction behind. Then come the Black Caps and Pakistan, with little difference between their odds.
But with New Zealand regarded as being amongst the top five teams competing, providing they can fulfil their obligations on the pitch, fans of the Kiwis have every right to feel enthusiastic. The current generation of cricketing talent is one to be proud of, only lacking victory at one of the major tournaments to seal their place in the history books.Follow paulmbanks