How New Zealand will win
They probably won’t, but it would be cute if they did.
They have a top four that has the skill to scare some teams, and the late order with the hitting power to boost some totals, but they need every single player to be at their best for two games and that is not likely.
They do however have some things in their favour. Sri Lanka has a similar line up to South Africa. And if Pakistan make the final, they’ve already beaten them. If they play India in the final, they can hope for a plane crash the night before the game.
All they can do is try and bat first, put on a reasonable total, nothing too special, then use tight bowling, Martin Guptil’s Roger Ramjet fielding, and a bit of lip hoping that all three can make the opposition feel the pressure of being in a big game get to them.
If they bowl first, they probably need a lot of luck and some run outs. Also some bad umpiring decisions followed by poor use of the UDRS would help. As would Kyle Mills going into the changerooms to torment the opposition before they get out there as a pre-emptive strike.
Their team is not horrible, but until Pakistan stopped hitting the pitch and South Africa choked they looked like they were lucky they didn’t have to play Ireland or Bangladesh.
If they did win the world cup they’d be the first team to ever do it without a strike bowler and it would be the biggest thing to happen to New Zealand since Bad Taste was released.
What New Zealand must do
Never give up, never surrender, hope like hell other teams will choke under their disciplined bowling and fielding effort.
How to beat New Zealand
Fast bowling did it for Australia; spin bowling did it for India. Twice this team has failed to get to 200, and they didn’t make much more than that against South Africa. While the batting line up is long, (strangely the longest left in the tournament), they are prone to a complete collapse from head to toe.
I think the best way to do this is to attack them at all times. When you’re attacking them one wicket seems to send a panic through all of them. They will probably struggle to put on a total of 300 plus and blow you out of the water, so you can afford to be a bit more attacking.
Their bowling and fielding has far less big names and performs much more as a competent unit. Their fifth bowler, if Oram plays purely as a bowler like he has, might be a weakness. Vettori didn’t like giving Woodcock the ball against South Africa, if you can attack him and Styris, they might be in trouble. Also Vettori is a big weakness in the field.
If your team is struggling and suddenly four tall men are around you after you’ve made a dreadful mistake, keep your elbows at the ready and “accidentally” push your bat handle into their genitals. They might be tall, but few people like a bat handle to the groin.
What not to do against New Zealand
Hit the ball near Guptill and run.