WI vs NZ: Ian Smith blasts New Zealand's 'flat' performance against Afghanistan; questions team's readiness

Updated - 10 Jun 2024, 06:58 PM

New Zealand Cricket Team and Ian Smith
New Zealand Cricket Team and Ian Smith. Image Credit: Getty Images

Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Ian Smith made a bold statement on the Black Caps after their embarrassing loss to Afghanistan in their opening game in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

Smith said that the Black Caps are not looking ready for the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, labeling the team as 'rusty' and 'disorganized after their lackluster performance in the tournament opener against Afghanistan.

Smith pointed out that the New Zealand cricket team had not played much international cricket for three months, and then they didn’t play warm-up matches in the Caribbean, which didn’t help them.

Ian Smith slams New Zealand's readiness after shocking defeat to Afghanistan

In their first match at Providence Stadium in Guyana, New Zealand suffered a crushing defeat of 84 runs against Afghanistan after getting bundled out for a mere 75 runs while chasing a target of 160. The bowlers struggled to find their rhythm, the batters failed to make an impact, and the fielding was also below par, which left Smith furious at the Black Caps.

Now, New Zealand faces an uphill task to qualify for the Super Eight stage from Group C, as the West Indies and Afghanistan both have four points and are comfortably sitting in first and second place in the standings after two games.

Smith said that the Kiwis will now have to win the rest of the three group matches against the West Indies, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea to progress further in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024, but he expressed doubts about his national team's ability to bounce back in the mega event.

Reflecting on the match against Afghanistan, Smith described it as one of the worst performances he has witnessed from the New Zealand cricket team. The Kiwis will next face the co-hosts West Indies on June 13 in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

Ian Smith warns New Zealand of possible T20 World Cup 2024 disaster after disappointing start

Ian Smith on SEN Radio: “They’ve got to beat the West Indies, and hope that they get beaten by Afghanistan because New Zealand’s run rate situation is so poor – we’re going to be very behind the eight ball when it comes to that. I just don’t know they’re going to get up to speed from the flat performance they had the other day. What kind of team are they going to pick? Are they going to make any changes?

The people they bring in haven’t played any cricket either. They missed opportunities to put pressure on Afghanistan early on; one partnership was all they needed to win the game. It was probably one of the worst performances I’ve seen, when you consider all aspects of the game from the Blackcaps side that I can recall. It was underdone, it was rusty, it was disorganized—they were so far not ready, it was not funny.”

Smith also slammed New Zealand’s fielding in the tournament, saying the Black Caps were always great in the fielding and they have been able to answer to the pressure with some really good fielding performances, but at the moment, they are not doing that as well.

Finn Allen was dismissed for a first-ball duck against Afghanistan, and the commentator lashed out at the player for not being able to justify his selection. He also said that Devon Conway has not played cricket for a long time, and that’s why he is struggling behind the stumps and with the bat as well.

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Ian Smith ICC T20 World Cup 2024 New Zealand national cricket team ICC T20 World Cup