After a week of the 2019 ICC World Cup, it is the team from the southernmost tip of globe, New Zealand, who find themselves on top of the table with four points on the board. While it is still early days, the New Zealand assertion should not be taken lightly as the Kiwis have in their own unassuming, yet authoritative way put themselves in a strong position for making the semifinals.

While the likes of Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor has showed their class with match-winning knocks in their two matches so far, it has been their bowlers who’ve brought their A game to the World Cup and could be their main weapon to topple a few of the strongest contenders in England, India or Australia.

The trio of Matt Henry, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson have arguably been the best bowling combination at the World Cup thus far with a combined 14 wickets between them in just two matches. All three have made brilliant starts in England, relentlessly piling on the pressure to ensure that have bowled out their opposition on both occasions until now.

With these three speedsters, the Blackcaps seem to have all departments of quick bowling covered as Ferguson delivers race pace, while Boult provides a left-arm option and Henry seems to be enjoying the swinging conditions of England.

The combination of Boult and Ferguson bowl with stellar accuracy while curtailing the scoring rates for the batting side. This forces the opposition to target Henry who doesn’t have the same pace as his compatriots, but in that attempt to counter-attack, batters end up losing their wickets.

Take for instance the game against Bangladesh, both Ferguson and Boult had maintained the pressure on Bangladesh in the middle-overs to keep the score at 179/4 after 37 overs. Captain Kane Williamson then brought on Henry to entice the batsmen to play a big shot, and that reaped a reward as Mohammad Mithun found himself caught in the deep.

Apart from that, the 27-year-old has been an exceptional death bowler; and has formed a brilliant pair with Boult. The Kiwis conceded just 56 runs in the last ten overs against Bangladesh while picking up five wickets as well with the pace duo bowling the bulk of those overs. They’ve also been clinical in the powerplay overs, averaging two wickets in the first ten overs in the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Also, Matt Henry is the current leading wicket-taker of the tournament while Ferguson has maintained a stellar economy rate of just over 3.5 runs an over. Boult has been the experienced head in the Kiwi camp having represented them 80 times prior to the start of the World Cup.

The New Zealand pacers also have the advantage of the conditions as the pitches and climate in England are the most similar to back home. They thrive on the extra bounce and natural swing that the pitches in England tend to offer and that can be seen as they’ve settled into the tournament right from the beginning.

While the Aussies or the English sides themselves boast a quality pace attack, it could be New Zealand’s trio that light up this World Cup with a good mixture of pace, bounce and swing.

Photo Courtesy: AFP Photo/ Adrian Dennis