New Zealand’s loss to Australia in the T20 World Cup final was their third silver medal in a row, and a Kiwi cricket legend has had enough.
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum likened the Kiwis’ performance in the T20 World Cup final to bringing a gun to a fight, except they “didn’t fire the bullets we took”.
The Black Caps came into the final on the back of a spectacular victory over England in the semi-finals as they hoped to break their duck of making a World Cup final only to fall at the final hurdle.
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But it was Australia who triumphed over their trans-Tasman counterparts, with a thrilling performance from Mitchell Marsh guiding Justin Langer’s side to a maiden T20 World Cup trophy.
New Zealand was left to rue what might have been after a slow opening 10 overs, scoring only 57 runs, before blasting 115 off the next 10.
The lack of ruthlessness was something McCullum believed played a big role in the Kiwis earning yet another silver medal.
“I don’t want to say we took a knife to a gunfight … we took a gun, but we didn’t fire any bullets,” McCullum told SENZ Breakfast.
“They were a little bit timid.
“Just a missed opportunity, we didn’t fire the bullets we took.”
McCullum referenced Martin Guptill’s innings as one example of when the Kiwis’ foot should have been placing the accelerator to the floor rather than just a light push on it.
“I just expected a bit more from (Martin Guptill), he got 28 off 35 balls in the final and that in isolation doesn’t look great,” McCullum said.
“But then when you strip it down, he was 16 off 15 to get under way in the final, and then his next 20 balls he scored 12 runs, that’s the time where you need to be accelerating, and all it did was (take) the air out of us.
“(That was) the most glaringly obvious part of our batting.”
While the defeat may still sting for many of the Kiwi players, star Jimmy Neesham has already turned his focus on the next outing, simply tweeting “335 days”.
Neesham was referencing the beginning of the next T20 World Cup that will be held in Australia in 2022.
If New Zealand is to take that next step and change their silver medals into gold, they will have to do it at the MCG after Cricket Australia announced the iconic venue would host the final of the next edition of the tournament.
Funnily enough, it is the same stage where the Kiwis lost the 2015 ODI World Cup to Australia by seven wickets.