New Zealand failing to lift the 2019 World Cup will always go down as one of the heartbreaking moments of the game. More than the loss, it was the marginal difference that denied Kane Williamson’s men their first World Cup title after reaching the final for the second successive time. However, former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum feels they were fortunate to get there.
New Zealand overcame a mighty Indian side in the semi-final of the competition, beating them in Manchester in a low-scoring encounter. The Kiwis scored 241 in the final at Lord’s and had the hosts England 86-4 at one stage before Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes’ partnership put them on track. New Zealand struck back as the game resulted in a tie. The subsequent super over was tied as well; however, the Englishmen prevailed since their number of boundaries were more than their opposition.
Brendon McCullum admits that his countrymen got exceptionally close last year; however, feels they were lucky to be in that position. At the same time, the 38-year old backed the current Black Caps’ side to do something special under some terrific senior players and Kane Williamson’s leadership.
“I know they got very close last year in the World Cup – but I did feel they were a little bit lucky there as well to actually get themselves in that situation. I think they’re close to doing something really really special, and under Kane Williamson’s captaincy and under the leadership of some of the other senior players, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t,” McCullum stated as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“I think they’ve done well, they’ve got the ear and eyes of not only New Zealand but the world” : Brendon McCullum
McCullum, who will coach the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020, feels that now is the time for New Zealand to stamp their authority. He added that Williamson’s captaincy is brilliant and is an embodiment of what it’s like to be a Kiwi while having a fantastic bunch. The former keeper-batsman reckons that the side has the self-belief too since all they did in the past few years is peak occasionally. It is worth noting that Brendon McCullum’s captaincy era proved a very fruitful one for the nation as they made it to their first World Cup final in 2015.
“I think now is the time for them to put a real line in the sand though. I think they’ve done well, they’ve got the ear and eyes of not only New Zealand but the world, it’d be nice. I think they’re really well-led by Kane Williamson, someone who is a fantastic embodiment of what it’s like to be a Kiwi and he’s got a wonderful group of people around him. I think they believe now too – I think that’s the big key. For so long we were always just trying to peak occasionally because we didn’t feel we had the resources to compete with the bigger nations,” he added.