Dubai, Former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond on Sunday said the Kiwis were too dependent on skipper Kane Williamson and veteran batsman Ross Taylor in the ongoing Champions Trophy and that was the reason for their unsatisfactory performance in the ICC event.
The World No.4 team began their Champions Trophy campaign on a positive note against Australia but rain forced them to split the points. In the next two matches, they failed to perform in unison against England and then Bangladesh and thus bowed out of the competition.
“I thought New Zealand played ok, but there was a certain inconsistency that will concern it going forward. No one other than Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor made significant runs on a consistent basis, and when you rely on one or two players to do the running most of the time, it is just not good enough,” Bond wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) website.
“I thought there was not enough productivity from the middle-order group of Neil Broom, Jimmy Neesham and Corey Anderson and that, more than anything else, is what will cause the creasing of foreheads within the New Zealand camp.
“Williamson showed how good he is and I thought Taylor batted very well, but you can’t go relying on just two guys. The matches were won and lost in the middle to end overs, when you needed the middle-order to step up and it didn’t,” he added.
Bond praised Bangladesh, who are in the semi-finals, and said in the last few years the sub-continent team has improved their game a lot.
On Friday, Bangladesh rode on a record 224-run partnership between centurions Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah to beat New Zealand by five wickets and knock them out from the tournament.
“Credit to Bangladesh, needless to say. Over the last four or five years, Bangladesh has been tough to beat at home, but it has kicked on under coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and is constantly improving,” Bond said.
“The way it finished off the game against New Zealand after having been 33 for four showed very good composure.
“There is a lot of good talent in the Bangladeshi ranks, and it will be delighted at having made the semi-final, at the fact particularly that now, it is able to compete and win away from home as well. It is proving to be a tough side to beat in all conditions, which is excellent news for world cricket,” he added.
The 42-year-old also stressed the importance of the performance of the host nation and said: “It’s very important for any tournament that the host nation does well, and it is great against that backdrop that England has been playing such great cricket.”
“It was no different from 2015 when New Zealand and Australia made it to the final. England has got on an aggressive roll, and it certainly is the team to beat now,” he added.