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Martin Devlin: Black Caps have every chance of winning the Cricket World Cup

Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Friday, 12 July 2019, 1:23PM

And so now it's England. Us against Old Blighty, the inventors of the game, the custodians of cricket. The big question, the only question, the one question we all want answered is CAN WE WIN IT? To borrow a quote direct from that venerable old kids cartoon called Bob the Builder, YES WE CAN! Of course we can.

What, apart from nothing at all, has changed about our chances since this tournament began 6 weeks ago? On paper we clearly are not the best side there, arguably not even the second best. How can we be when we've already lost three times in 10 games? Mind you the exact same can be said of England who also lost three times in the round robin.

We have three to four world class players and a handful of others who can be world beaters on their day. So we need just about everything to go right for us all at once and hope that they're slightly off their own game. 

Now none of this is beyond the realm of impossibility, in fact we saw something very similar unfold just a couple of nights ago against India.

England at Lord's in front of their own fans will be our ultimate test. The Poms have been planning for this match, albeit probably thinking of and/or wishing for a different opponent, since they were first awarded the hosting rights.

And I say that with all due respect to our guys but in their eyes the preferred final would've been vs the auld enemy Australia or world number one India. 

We go into this final as absolute underdogs. Make no mistake about that nor let England forget it anytime in the next 48 hours. The more pressure we can apply on that fragile Pommy mindset the better. They came into this tournie as one of the raging favourites and they go into the final knowing it is theirs to lose.

That's the message they need to hear constantly between now and kick-off on Sunday night. They've thrashed us once already (by 119 runs) and on home turf in front of their home crowd the expectation is enormous. To draw a parallel, think All Blacks vs France RWC final 2011. That was a game we simply couldn't afford to lose.

England have never won the CWC and have now never had a better chance to do so.

They are meant to win this game and we're meant to put up a gallant fight. Which puts us in exactly the position we want to be. Flying under the radar and capable of pulling off the enormous upset.

We arrived in England full of hope and remain so approaching the biggest game of one day cricket we've played since the last time we were in this position. Let's hope we did learn from what happened in 2015. Learned not to be over-awed, learned that winning a semi-final is nothing more than a ticket to the big show.

Can we win it? We have about as much chance as we did of beating India and a slice more than we did if we were about to play Australia.

Be happy everyone, be happy and be hopeful.

At the start of the tournament this is the exact position we wanted to be in.

A one off final with the chance to become World Champion.

ON AIR: Overnight Talk

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