Former South Africa pacer Morne Morkel believes ‘street smart’ New Zealand can win its maiden 20-20 title by beating Australia in the finals on Sunday (November 14). New Zealand have played outstanding cricket so far, with just a minor blip against Pakistan in the opening game.
Different players have stepped up at crucial junctures for the Kiwis. Players like Daryl Mitchell, Devon Conway, Jimmy Neesham, Martin Guptill, and the bowlers have played their roles to perfection. As usual, New Zealand didn’t had the spotlight on them but they made it to yet another final of the global event.
Morkel feels New Zealand have been consistent in the last two years under the inspirational leader Williamson. He revealed that he was optimistic about New Zealand’s chances from the start. “While the spotlight was on India, Pakistan, England, and Australia throughout the tournament there was a little voice inside my head saying: ‘hang on, don’t forget about New Zealand,” Morkel was quoted by Sportscafe.
“They are the current World Test champions, played in the last 50-over World Cup final, and their white-ball cricket has been exceptional over the past couple of years. They are street smart and organized and have an inspirational leader in Kane Williamson,” he added.
This is the first final for New Zealand in seven attempts in the 20-20 World Cup. Morkel reckons that the Williamson-led team won’t mind who they are facing in the finals as they have already beaten pre-tournament favourites England.
“New Zealand won’t mind who they are playing in the final. They’ve already overcome a huge hurdle and got one over England, which shows they can handle the heat when it’s on them,” said Morkel.