Who Are New Zealand?
New Zealand have always been considered as one of the smaller cricketing nations due to its lack of cricketing resources, in terms of funding and player pool. However, they are a team that has always over-performed what is expected of them.
Their success in all formats, in particular, their win of the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021, is challenging traditional views of New Zealand cricket as being a lesser cricketing nation into becoming a potential dominant force in world cricket.
The Test team is currently captained by Kane Williamson and coached by Gary Stead. Its current kit sponsor is Canterbury of New Zealand and fielders wear a black cap in the style of a baseball cap rather than a baggy cap worn by other times.
Its caps gave them the nickname the “Black Caps” or they are also known as the “kiwis”. The kiwis are considered a very strong team when playing in their home conditions and have strong rivalries with England its trans-Tasman rivals Australia.
The Kiwis have produced some famous Test players including Martin Crowe and Sir Richard Hadlee and some of the modern greats like Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson.
The Test History of New Zealand
The Black Caps acquired Test status in 1930, and they played their first match that year versus England at Lancaster Park in Christchurch. Overall, they have played 455 tests winning 109, losing 178, and 168.
New Zealand greatest achievement in Test cricket and arguably more broadly in their whole cricketing history was when they won the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021. The Black Caps finished in second position on the league table with a win percentage of 70%, winning three of their series, drawing 1, and losing one, meaning they qualified for the final.
The series that stand out from the five played was their two-nil victory at home over – at the time – the number one ranked Test side in the world, India.
This series foreshadowed the final, as New Zealand faced India (who finished first on the league table) in a one-off test match, played at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, England. In a low scoring and rain affected game, the Black Caps were victorious, winning by 8 wickets, chasing down the 139 runs set by India.
Young Kiwi fast-bowler Kyle Jamieson was named man of the match as he took match figures of 7 wickets for 31 runs, which included a five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Who Holds the Test Records for New Zealand?
The recently retired Ross Taylor is New Zealand’s leading test run-scorer with 7,683 runs at an average of 44.66 in 197 innings. Chasing him is current captain Kane Williamson, with 7,272 runs and he also has the record for most centuries for the Black Caps with 24.
Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum are the only other batsmen who have scored more than 6,000 Test runs. McCullum also holds the record for highest individual score in an innings in his amazing knock of 302 versus India at the Basin Reserve in New Zealand in 2014.
Sir Richard Hadlee is the most successful New Zealand Test bowler of all time. He took 431 wickets in 150 innings with a record 36 five-wicket hauls and also on nine occasions he took ten wickets in a match. Left arm spinner, Daniel Vettori and current fast bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult have also taken more than 300 wickets each for the Black Caps.