New Zealand have won another T20. They beat South Africa by 6 wickets with 4 balls to spare in the first T20 at Wellington. New Zealand successfully chased 148 runs on the back of a superb unbeaten innings of 78 by Martin Guptill. While New Zealand have been poor in performances in one dayers and test of late but in T20's, they have been brilliant. 3 days ago only they successfully 200 runs in a T20 match against Zimbabwe. New Zealand has been one of the hardest team to beat in the shortest format.
Performance statistics- New Zealand have played 48 T20's so far winning 24 and losing 21 of them. 3 have been tied. The 50% record is pretty decent in this unpredictable format. But their performance in the last 2 years has improved considerably. In the last 2 years, New Zealand has played 17 T20's winning 11 and losing just 5 with 1 ending up as a tie. The win % swells up to almost 65% from 50% here. So that shows they have been pretty consistent in T20's over the last couple of years. And as expected they have been ranked second in the ICC T20 championship rankings. England is the number 1 ranked team with a win % of 67 which is just slightly better than New Zealand's.
A combination of various factors has made New Zealand so successful in T20 cricket.
Sharp Fielding- The shortest format is the one that demands high quality fielding the most. And New Zealand has always been a great fielding side traditionally.The young boys are no different as it is very rare to see a dropped catch or a misfield by a Kiwi fieldsman. They are sharp and always save around 10-15 runs in each match. They are not afraid to throw themselves on the field and this shows why they have done well in this format.
Big hitters- New Zealand has got plenty of big hitters in their team. The likes of Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, James Franklin are all batsmen who can hit sixes anytime they want. The short boundaries in New Zealand and in fact in T20's basically helps as they can clear the field easily. Due to so many pinch hitters, they can hope to achieve any target however big it may be. In the last T20 game against Zimbabwe, they chased 200 with 2 balls to spare! In that game every batsman came and hit a few ones over the boundary at will and thus the target was never quite out of reach for them.
Martin Guptill- This man is in scintillating form and has been playing match winning innings consistently. Guptill has played 27 T20's in his career scoring 715 runs at an average of 35.75 with 4 half centuries and a best of 91*. And his average goes upto 56.80 in the 17 matches New Zealand has won with him featuring in the eleven. In the last 2 years he has played 14 matches and scored runs at an average of 47.60. In his last 7 T20 innings he has crossed 50 four times and 40 twice. Clearly Martin Guptill has been one of the prime reasons for New Zealand's T20 success.
New Zealand have the potential to succeed in T20's and they have a great chance at this year's world T20 in Sri Lanka. In the small grounds of Sri Lanka, fireworks can be expected from the Kiwis.