Ross Taylor was all praise everyone involved in the New Zealand cricket team’s set-up for competing consistently at the top level in spite of them being a small nation in terms of population.
The veteran batsman believes the tag of underdogs suits them well and added that the Kiwis play better with their backs against the wall. Though the Blackcaps haven’t won a major trophy in recent times, they’ve made it to the last two World Cups.
Kane Williamson and his men are once again involved in the summit clash of an ICC tournament, this time in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Virat Kohli-led India.
“5 million playing against 1.4 billion. For us to even get a side that can compete consistently is a testament to everybody. We love being the underdogs, that’s just the Kiwi psyche,” he said in a clip shared by ICC on Twitter.
“I think we play better when our backs are against the wall. Being favourites probably doesn’t sit with us as well as it does with other teams. We like to be the underdogs and go under the radar a little,” he added.
Pacer Tim Southee highlighted how New Zealand are very rarely talked about as favourites going into a major ICC event. However, the 33-year-old added that it doesn’t bother them as they only try to concentrate on what’s happening inside the team environment.
“You always turn up at World Cups and ICC events, everyone talks about their favourite but very rarely are New Zealand mentioned. But it’s fine with us, it doesn’t bother us as a team,” he stated.
“We worry about what’s going on inside our environment and what we are trying to achieve as a team. We always turn at every event trying to win it like every other side. It’s nice to be consistent in our performances over the last few events,” he concluded.
New Zealand’s only major triumph came nearly two decades back when they won the ICC Champions Trophy (ICC Knockout Trophy) under the captaincy of Stephen Fleming in Kenya.
Meanwhile, Day 1 of the WTC Final was washed out due to heavy rain in Southampton.