World T20 2023 Preview: New Zealand
Can the White Ferns Break their Duck?
Back in 2004 the White Ferns won the very first T20 International but since then haven’t managed to win any major silverware. Is this going to be the tournament where the White Ferns break their duck?
A favourable Pool grouping says there’s a very good chance and that’s good for two reasons. Should they lock in a semi final spot they will not have to play Australia in the semis. That will be somebody else’s problem.
New Zealand are in Pool A with Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and South Africa. The first two games will be the toughest, but if they win one of those two matches, the next two are considerably easier and should see the team reach the semis.
- Australia (12 Feb)
- South Africa (14 Feb)
- Bangladesh (17 Feb)
- Sri Lanka (20 Feb)
The veteran duo of Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates are always an important factor, but I think the name “Kerr” might be the key to the success of New Zealand in this tournament.
Amelia Kerr is now a senior player and looks every bit the part. Now batting in the key position of number three, her batting performance will be vital to the team’s chances. Her leg-spin bowling is probably the best on offer from any team here and if we combine that with her excellent fielding – a potential Player of the Tournament.
Older sister Jess Kerr will also be a key player – her in-swing bowling could spell trouble for both left and right handed batters. Less in the spotlight than her sister, this quiet achiever could go a long way to helping New Zealand reach their goal. Oh, she can swing a bat too.
Another name to watch: Eden Carson. This youngster has a fire in her belly. She’s a fighter.
The White Ferns have had an excellent record of late, leading into this tournament. However, that good form has been against two teams that have not been in the best touch, West Indies and Bangladesh.
The challenge for this team is to take that form into the matches against tougher opposition. If they can do that, who knows? Maybe the White Ferns can break their duck.