Let me take you back to 2019 as a cricket fan, where do you all want to be? I mean let’s not get back there; you didn’t want to go there where I am thinking currently right? Is that what all of you wanted? Pathetic, I mean The ICC Cricket World Cup Final on July 14 2019 where New Zealand actually locked horns with England.
Who amongst us could forget that head lapping posture of Mr. Ian Smith, a fantastic broadcaster, commentator and a person whom you can hear for hours without knowing how much time have you given to his magnificent reactions on the mic? And now what I feel is the reverberation of a phrase which as a Kiwi fan you don’t want it to be pronounced, “It’s a Super over”.
For all those fans all around the globe it’s important to know that it’s not only tough but also surreal to be a Kiwi fan especially in a T20 match where they somehow enter into the black hole of Super Over. New Zealand somehow is the only team that has created a similar Déjà vu like the story of the recurring dream from London read in high school and are carrying it permanently in their kit bags.
The start of it all was an epic final which was the beginning of a journey for the cricket fans that the black caps with all cool heads around are soaked up in crunch situations. The indecision is becoming so familiar that the one with fine touch and great knick is never there to complete the job for Kiwis. The funniest part of this serious issue for kiwis is the way Tim Southee has been at the receiving end in most of the occasion.
The Super Over saga emerged in 2016 World T20 where Marlon Samules stood as a rock in front of Southee and now is taken to a different level after KL Rahul smashed a six and a four in consecutive deliveries to shift the momentum in the right direction to take India 4-0 that included 2 super over wins in last 3 days for India.
The story of super over began in the T20’s thanks to Kiwis when they did it first against the mighty Universal Boss of T20, Chris Gayle. It was Gayle’s brilliance that started an unsung story of the great kiwi challenge of super over.
The more fascinating thing to support their unsung song is the amount of super over that they are part of in T20’s. Out of 14 super over in T20I till date, New Zealand unsurprisingly is part of 50% of them. To give more light to the heading of this article, I would like to admit that New Zealand has just won 1 game against the arch rivals’ Australian team.
The approach of the same team that plays the initial half of an almost won game until the 18th over is quite magnificent. But, once a set player is gone New Zealand draws itself to such an impossible way from where victory is miles apart. They presume so much about glory that they often find themselves in a spot of bother from such a cruising condition.
They have Kane Williamson as a cool headed commander yet they tend to lose their way towards the business end of the game. It’s all about soaking pressure but Kiwis are just found being grinded by the match pressure. The set batsmen usually gets out in the dead end which triggers a collapse that results usually into that zone which is the most unsafe zone for blackcaps.
T20 is all about the game for a moment and you should be 100% till the last ball is bowled or last run is chased. The team being too imaginative or overtaking any moments tends to get lost in the middle of the game and is pushed so defensively downwards that there is only one exit end and that end is the end of loss.
A good start is a moment like a good finish but that must be carried till the end. You can’t be relentless or weak at any state of the 240 balls otherwise you know where you are heading towards? Kiwis seem to have foresight too much about a game that is won by them at least twice in the 18th over of any tied games they have found themselves till date.
The common part of their loss has been a champion speed star and swing bowler Tim Southee who has been in the same mode of length balls and bouncers in the super over. Tim has bowled in the test match length which is the slot for the batsmen in T20’s.The red ball line is hurting New Zealand and Tim at the same time. The story of New Zealand in super over could easily beat the most heartbreaking story of the modern era.
For all those black cap fans I urge you all to start praying for New Zealand cricket in t20’s after 18th over as Black Caps find a new way of taking game to the wire and losing them out of nowhere.
The epic battles in New Zealand have been among the teams but a team of the caliber of Kiwis are battling together against themselves in the mirror and are fighting against the epidemics that Super over can bring in the years to come.
Let’s hope the great battle of Kiwis will be won by the brave bunch of Williamson to prove their worth in cricket. So, lady luck must shine bright to take kiwis out of “The great Kiwi challenge of super over”.