The onus of tomorrow’s match falls on Brendon McCullum more than anyone else. He leads his team from the front and has made New Zealand the most consistent team in the World Cup. You can tell that a team has momentum on their side when each and every player contributes to a win. That is the story of the Kiwis in the past year. They have stepped up their game in every aspect. The batsmen have almost made it a habit of converting their 30s into 70s and 50s into 100s. That’s the sign of a solid batting lineup. Their bowlers have developed the ability to take wickets at their will. They are always hungry for wickets, which creates fear in the batsman’s eyes. Their fielding is setting new standards and that is saying a lot considering we have teams like South Africa and Australia who have set the benchmark in the past. The Kiwis are probably the most balanced team in the tournament right now. The credit for all of this goes to their captain. McCullum has instilled that killer instinct in all his players. He’s an attacking captain who always wants to win. When your captain has that level of determination and courage, it automatically trickles down to all the players. Tomorrow’s match between the two hosting countries of the World Cup will be a spectacle to watch. In my opinion, New Zealand are the favourites for tomorrow’s match. That in itself is something that the Kiwis can be extremely proud of. The Australians will really need to bring their A game to avoid a second defeat in the group stages. Whatever the result, it will be an extremely exciting match.

–Shaan Tahir

shantahir@gmail.com