Almost all the teams have announced their squads for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be played in the UAE. New Zealand are the recent team to announced their 15-member squad with Kane Williamson leading the side. Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor along with Williamson himself provides the much-needed balance and experience to the side. However, despite all the experience, Aakash Chopra feels that the side are still not favourites to win the title.
New Zealand recently became the inaugural champions of the ICC World Test Championship by beating India in Southampton in the final. However, about their T20 squad, Aakash Chopra has a few observations. He feels that even Afghanistan can challenge the Kiwis on the big stage.
“Overall, this team is alright. They are in India’s pool, where Pakistan and Afghanistan are also there. Even Afghanistan can give this team a competition and trouble them, honestly speaking.”
New Zealand are placed in group B along with India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Chopra further said that the Kiwi side will stay true to its reputation of playing well in ICC tournaments.
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“They are a good team. They punch above their weight and they have the ability to become a fist. They won the World Test Championship and lost the 2019 World Cup just because the match got tied.”
Aakash Chopra On New Zealand’s Chances of Winning T20 World Cup
However, Chopra was quick to admit that he was not sure if the Kiwis can eventually win the tournament and go all the way.
“I have a doubt this time that New Zealand will end up at the podium. Of course, they do surprise everyone but these are the UAE conditions. I see Pakistan and India’s chances extremely bright in this group.”
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) August 18, 2021
The Kiwis start their ICC T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 26 in Sharjah. They then play India on October 31 in Dubai followed by matches against (B1, Dubai) on November 3 (A2, Sharjah) on November 5 and Afghanistan on November 7 in Abu Dhabi.