NZ vs PAK: Are New Zealand The New Chokers Of Cricket?

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NZ vs PAK: Are New Zealand The New Chokers Of Cricket?

NZ vs PAK: Are New Zealand The New Chokers Of Cricket?


New Zealand are hailed as the most consistent team when it comes to qualifying for the semi-finals and the finals of the ICC tournaments in the past decade. However, the fact that often gets unnoticed and under the radar is that the Kiwis also have failed to win a single white-ball ICC tournament and have been knocked out always.

The “chokers” tag continues to remain associated with South Africa, their failure to reach the semis of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022 after losing to the Netherlands further exacerbated this.

Are New Zealand the real chokers?

New Zealand’s latest setback in a knockout game came against Pakistan in Sydney as Babar Azam’s side defeated Kane Williamson by 7 wickets in the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final. The Kiwis failed to defend 153.

New Zealand had also failed to defend 172 in the final of the T20 World Cup 2021 last year in Dubai against Australia.

Before these two T20 World Cup knock-out losses, they suffered heartbreak in the 2019 ODI World Cup final against England at Lord’s. The final was tied in the regular game, and even the Super over was tied. The hosts England were declared the winner on boundary count. The final against England seemed to be New Zealand’s at one point, but Ben Stokes’ heroics and some luck with the deflection off the bat racing to the boundary, meant the Kiwis came second in the greatest ODI World Cup final.

They had failed to reach the semi-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. But before that, they had also faced losses in two more ICC tournament knockouts.

Williamson’s side was beaten by England in the semi-final of the 2016 T20 World Cup in Delhi. A year before that, Brendon McCullum had inspired New Zealand into the final of the 2015 World Cup with an unbeaten streak in all home games, including victories in the quarter-final and the semi-final. However, Australia shattered New Zealand’s dream of a maiden ODI World Cup title in Melbourne.

Going a little more back, they had also been knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2011 World Cup by South Africa and lost the 2007 T20 World Cup semi-final to Pakistan.

So, in essence, New Zealand does have a history of not turning up to their best in big ICC knockouts. They have reached the semis and finals of the recent ICC white-ball tournaments - being consistent in it - but have also choked at crucial points.