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What derailed New Zealand’s campaign in 2024 World T20?

T20 World Cup 2024: Top reasons why Kane Williamson led New Zealand made early exit to ongoing T20 World Cup?

Kane Williamson led New Zealand is out of T20 World Cup 2024 | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_X)
Williamson led New Zealand is out of T20 World Cup 2024 (Photo: ©ICC/X)

New Zealand were knocked out of the T20 World Cup 2024 following Afghanistan’s win over Papua New Guinea. The win saw Afghanistan qualify for the Super Eight along with West Indies from Group C. New Zealand’s opening losses against Afghanistan and West Indies cost them dearly. Their last two matches against Uganda and PNG are of academic interest. However, for fans, it has been nothing but a shocker to see New Zealand crash out of the tournament in the first round itself. Here’s a post-mortem on what went wrong for New Zealand in the 2024 World T20.

Undercooked and unprepared

Most of the Kiwi players were plying their services in the IPL 2024. Post the tournament, they didn’t get enough time to come together and spend time with each other. Captain Kane Williamson, who himself was part of Sunrisers Hyderabad which made it to the final of IPL 2024, didn’t get the opportunity to regroup his players, train enough as a team, form a collective purpose and set a goal to be competitive in the World T20. 

Also, post the IPL, some Kiwi players went back home to spend some time with their families before re-grouping for the World T20. This affected the team as they were straight away pushed into the World T20 without having enough match practice or spending quality time with each other.

Batting: a big letdown

The lack of international or practice matches for most of the players meant that they weren’t prepare at the individual level. Players such as Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Daryll Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra were part of IPL 2024 but didn’t get enough game time consistently during the tournament. It showed in their efforts as they were just not ready for such a multi-nation tournament. 

Their batting was a pale shadow of their older selves as they were just not competitive enough. Devon Conway was out of IPL 2024 due to injury and went straight into World T20 without any competitive match practice under his belt. Overall, it was a collective batting failure from the Kiwis. Being all out for 75 against Afghanistan summed up their batting woes in the tournament.

Kane Williamson led New Zealand is out of T20 World Cup 2024 _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_X)
New Zealand lost to Afghanistan in opening fixture (Photo: ©ICC/X)
Lacklustre fielding 

The Kiwis are known for their excellent fielding, complementing their bowlers with their sharp run-outs and catches. But they were found wanting in the field in both the losses. The lapses on the field allowed the opposition to make competitive scores that were way beyond the reach of the under-prepared New Zealand batters. The lack of practice time together before the tournament showed their lack of focus and preparedness on the field. 

The way ahead

Post the failure of the Kiwi cricketers in the 2024 World T20, some tough calls need to be taken by New Zealand Cricket. Are they too dependent on ageing warhorses such as Williamson and Southee who do not fit into the shortest format of the game anymore? Do New Zealand need to revamp their T20 squad to involve more younger and faster legs to raise their competitiveness in this format? Do New Zealand need to alter their brand of cricket in T20s to a more aggressive and fearless one where they take the attack to the opposition? Do they need to turn hunter rather than being the prey? 

These are some tough questions that New Zealand need to answer before they prepare for their next assignment in the shortest format with an eye on the next World T20 in 2026.


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