World Cup 2023 Review: New Zealand – Dark horses roar to semis

New Zealand had a topsy-turvy ODI World Cup 2023 campaign. They started the tournament with four consecutive wins and were looking like an unstoppable force. However, they embarked on a four-match losing streak and were almost on the verge of missing out on semi-final qualification. They won their final league game against Sri Lanka to finish at No. 4 on the points table and faced India in the semis in Mumbai. The Blackcaps lost a high-scoring encounter by 70 runs against Rohit Sharma’s men to crash out of the 10-team competition.

Top batter

Daryl Mitchell – The experienced middle-order batter played an excellent hand for New Zealand throughout the competition. He finished as the fifth-highest run-getter in the tournament with 552 runs from nine innings at an average of 69 and a strike rate of 111.06. He scored two fifties and as many hundreds. It is interesting to note that both his hundreds came against India.

Top bowler

Mitchell Santner – The left-arm orthodox bowler started strongly, fizzed out in the middle, and finished with a flourish. Overall, Santner will be reasonably content with his numbers. He picked up 16 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 28.05 and a strike rate of 34.75.

X-factor player

Rachin Ravindra – The 23-year-old was the find of the tournament. He scored 578 runs in 10 innings at an average of 64.22 and a strike rate of 106.44. Ravindra scored centuries against Australia, England, and Pakistan. He received a lot of praise from the cricket fraternity for showing no nerves during his first major tournament at the senior level.

Most memorable moment

New Zealand’s most memorable moment has to be their comprehensive nine-wicket in the first match of the World Cup against defending champions England. Chasing a decent target of 283, the Blackcaps got home with 82 balls and nine wickets to spare. Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra scored phenomenal unbeaten centuries.