There’s excitement and expectation in the BLACKCAPS camp ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy.
The eight team tournament is an opportunity – an opportunity to keep trending in the right direction, an opportunity to build towards the 2015 World Cup, and most importantly, an opportunity to pick up a piece of silverware.
Regular semi-finalists, it’s often said that the BLACKCAPS punch above their weight at the big tournaments. In a competition with such quality rivals, making it to that stage is a respectable achievement, but the New Zealand side have made it pretty plain that they have their own expectations– winning.
It’s not often that the BLACKCAPS are heard talking up their chances, but the team head into this tournament with the mentality that they are one of the favourites.
Ranked only seventh in the world, it could seem a little arrogant, but there are reasons for cautious optimism.
A mix of young talent and experienced heads, a high standard of fielding and a Martin Guptill in the form of his life have the team in a good place. When there are only three pool games anything can happen, but the talent is there and after listening to Nathan McCullum there is little doubt that the desire is too.
“We need to start winning some tournaments,” the 32 year-old stated.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re one of the favourites. We need to be one of the favourites in our own mind we need to look at winning this competition.
“Anyone else in this competition can win because their all fantastic sides and playing some really good cricket, but from my point of view it’s up to us to win this competition and it’s an opportunity to win this competition. “
After away series victories over South Africa and England no one can argue that they don’t have the ability to succeed, but as McCullum said – it’s now up to them.
The BLACKCAPS have stated their expectations. Let the action begin.