Australia vs New Zealand, CT Final, Centurion
Aus vs NZ CT Final - Kiwis Can Upset Aussies05-Oct-2009 05:46:00 GMT
Centurion: One thing is certain, political slogans are not part of any New Zealand campaign in this edition of the Champions Trophy in South Africa. Or, for that matter, on any tour the Kiwis undertake.
You will find that the Black Caps, as down to earth types, don't have egos. This in fact goes for all Kiwis. What they do have though is self-belief, as the team ethic is the type of adrenalin on which they thrive.
Somewhere though, in the back of Daniel Vettori's mind, that catchy Barack Obama metaphor of 'yes we can', said to be inspired by Obama's wife Michele to help encourage his supporters hours after his election as the United States president last year, might have run through the mind of the New Zealand captain as well.
This is while on the way to New Zealand convincingly beating Pakistan on Saturday night. It has also set up an interesting trans-Tasman Anzac bash with Australia in the final at Centurion's SuperSport Park on Monday.
Historically, Anzac is the acronym identifying the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and borne out of the bloody trenches and muddy waters of that fateful World War 1 campaign against the Ottoman Empire in the far off Dardanelles.
Thousands of young men, on both sides, lost their lives at the start of a totally needless campaign, launched on April 25, 1915. It gave us Anzac Day and the legends that go with it and has far more significance Down Under than any November 11 Armistice Day memorial elsewhere.
When New Zealand last reached this event's final nine years ago in Nairobi 2000, Vettori had been forced to return home from a fairly successful Zimbabwe tour, lamenting how he missed his teammates while nursing a damaged lower spine stress fracture.
Chris Cairns, whose century against India clinched that result, helped the Kiwis to win an international trophy that has so far eluded teams of greater pretentions such as England, Pakistan, and even at that stage, rivals, Australia.
But that is history, while this time, the Kiwis managed to overcome the crippling problems of injuries to key players, for a nation whose pool of top players is small, their clinical and disciplined efforts is something of which others need to take serious cognizance. The Kiwis success here will push them higher up the rankings.
One thing the Kiwis have learnt through the years is adaptability. They didn't have a great tour of Sri Lanka, but at least they won the T20 trophy at Fortress Premadasa, a result which many seemed to have forgotten; also one, as it were where Sri Lankans seemed to have been allowed to fall through the cracks in the facade of the dowdy Kettarama venue.