Visakhapatnam, Dec 3 (IANS): In the unpredictable world of cricket, New Zealand have emerged as a formidable force, consistently reaching the semifinals and finals of major ICC events. Former cricketer Ross Taylor, who has been an integral part of the Black Caps squad for years, on Sunday shed light on the team's unique journey and their preference for the underdog role as they gear up for the T20 World Cup 2024.
Despite facing setbacks and losses in bilateral series, New Zealand have mastered the art of 'sneaking in' when it matters the most.
Taylor also reflected on the team's ability to make crucial semi and final appearances even when the odds seem stacked against them. The recent heartbreak in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, where they were knocked out by India in the semis, serves as a testament to their resilience.
“New Zealand have been consistently making the semifinals and the finals of major events, World Cups. And the World Test Championship. So what is the key to consistency for the Black Caps? I mean, they play tournament format. We've worked out a formula," Taylor told IANS on Sunday.
He also acknowledged that luck has played its part, but the team's consistency is rooted in a collective desire to perform well in tournament formats.
As the cricketing world turns its attention to the T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and the United States of America, the narrative of the underdog persists.
Taylor's insights into the team's mindset and their knack for defying expectations paint a captivating picture. Whether it's the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat, New Zealand's cricketing journey remains one of resilience, unpredictability, and a steadfast embrace of the underdog status.
"No one really puts them in the semifinal when they pick their teams. So, I think New Zealand will like being the underdogs and I think they'll continue to do that," Taylor noted.
He predicted that New Zealand's competitive spirit would shine through, especially in unfamiliar conditions in America and the Caribbean islands.
While captaining the Southern Superstars in the Legends League Cricket (LLC), Taylor emphasised the importance of staying active and fit post-retirement. The tournament not only provides a platform for retired players to showcase their skills but also allows them to share the dressing room with former rivals.
"It's a great way to keep the guys active and fit," said Taylor.
The competitive edge may not fade, but the Legends League Cricket (LLC) offers a chance for retired players to relive the camaraderie and memories that fuel their passion for the game.