Gary Stead points out New Zealand losing Tests to England last year as missed chance for not defending WTC title

by IANS |

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Gary Stead, the New Zealand head coach, has pointed towards his team's last years three-Test series loss to England resulting in them missing a chance of defending their World Test Championship (WTC) title.

New Zealand, then led by talismanic batter Kane Williamson, had won the inaugural WTC title after defeating India by eight wickets in the final at Southampton from June 18-23, 2021.

But in 2022, they were beaten 3-0 by Brendon McCullum's England team playing an attacking brand of cricket in June which played a massive role in them being unable to reach the WTC 2023 final to be played between India and Australia at The Oval in London from June 7.

"We didn't get the same momentum that we had in other formats and whilst we finished strongly, there were probably some other results overseas that we hoped to do better in and in the three Test matches versus England, we lost all of them and we were probably in positions to win all three at certain periods of the game. That's certainly a series that stands out," Stead told SENZ Mornings.

As a result, New Zealand finished sixth in the 2021-23 cycle of the WTC, ending the cycle with 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka at home. That victory was the only series win against New Zealand's name in the cycle.

As of now, Stead is excited for the next phase of the WTC to begin. "We start a new cycle soon and we've got genuinely six or seven teams that could win it if they play well over a two-year cycle and that's what's exciting as we get the chance to start from afresh again," he added.

It also means that New Zealand need to find their next best Test cricketers who can serve the national team for long, something which Stead is aware about.

"I think it's very difficult to replace your Ross Taylors, your Trent Boults and those types of people because they just simply aren't out there, they're once in a lifetime type cricketers," the coach said.

"So, it's always difficult but one of the things we'll pride ourselves on as a team is how hard we can fight, how long we can stay in the battle for and when you do that you never know what can sometimes happen at the end," he concluded.

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