New Zealand cricket is on a rise each coming series. The team rose the ranks to become one of the best cricketing nations of today's time. Their history began in 1930 with test cricket. Over 90 years of cricket, the last decade, and the present are their best years as a team. The Blackcaps became the first team to lift the inaugural World Test Championship.
In other formats too, they have reached the finals and fallen just short of trophies but their players and the team earned maximum appraisals for their efforts on the pitch.
Today we look at the top 10 greatest players to play for New Zealand and helped the side reach new heights with their contribution. The list of players is as follows.
10. Trent Boult
Trent has been serving his country for 10 years. Recently he became the 4th Kiwi to take 300 test wickets. When combined in all formats then Trent is New Zealand’s 4th highest wicket-taker.
He was also the joint highest wicket-taker in the 2015 World Cup in which the blackcaps reached the final. He further became the first bowler for the Kiwis to take a hat-trick in the cricket world cup.
9. John Wright
John Wright debuted for New Zealand in 1978. He was their best batsman in Test format at that time. He scored 5334 runs in 82 matches and became the first New Zealand player to score 5000 runs in Test.
He scored 3891 runs in ODI cricket and his First-class career speaks volumes as he has scored over 35,000 runs in domestic cricket. Hence his contribution to New Zealand cricket puts him 10th on the list.
8. Martin Crowe
Martin Crowe is one of the biggest influential figures for the New Zealand Cricket. Crowe took the world by storm at an early age. He was even declared as the cricketer of the year by Wisden when he was 25.
One of the best young cricketers of that time, Crowe eventually became new Zealand’s key batsmen. He scored 5444 runs in the test and 4707 runs in ODI. He became the first New Zealand player to score 10,000 international runs.
During his playing career, he broke as many records as he could, some of them including the highest individual score in Test cricket (299 runs against Sri Lanka in 1991). By the time he retired he was the highest run-scorer in both test and ODI’s for the Kiwis.
Crowe is also credited to come up with the idea of the World Test Championship, but the idea materialized post his death, hence it would be fair to give him some credits in New Zealand’s maiden ICC trophy.
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7. Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum shook the world with his aggressive hard hitting cricket. He was renowned for his quick scoring abilities. He captained the side for 62 matches with a win percentage of 61.86% making him one of the most successful captains in the world.
McCullum has scored more than 14,000 runs in all the formats. During his reign, he retired as the highest run-scorer in the T20i before Guptill broke his record.
However, to credit his quick scoring, he still holds the record of the fastest test century. He scored a century in just 56 balls against Australia in 2015/16.
6. Tim Southee
Tim Southee is one of the finest yet underrated bowlers of all time. His stats are not looked upon often but they reflect his contribution to the side.
Southee has played 318 matches for the Kiwis and in these outings, he has taken 630 wickets. He is the 2nd highest wicket-taker for the Kiwis just 66 wickets behind Daniel Vettori and the latter has played 100 more matches than Southee.
He is the highest wicket-taker in T20’s for them, further the 3rd highest in tests. He was the 3rd bowler and the 2nd pacer in New Zealand’s history to reach 300 test wickets.
5. Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming is one of the most technically gifted batsmen to play for the Kiwis. He other than being a fine batsman turned out to be their most successful captain. Fleming led Kiwis to 28 Test victories.
Apart from being the longest-serving captain, he is also the 2nd most capped player in New Zealand’s history. He has 111 appearances to his name. Fleming in his career has slammed 7,000 test runs and over 8000 ODI runs.
He is New Zealand’s 2nd highest run-scorer in ODI’s just behind Ross Taylor and the 3rd highest in Test cricket.
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4. Richard Hadlee
Richard Hadlee is regarded as one of the finest fast bowlers the world has ever seen. Despite great bowling legends from every country, Hadlee still makes it to the very top of the chart of genuine fast bowlers.
Hadlee was lethal with the new ball owing to his swinging abilities, he became the first bowler in the world to clinch 400 test wickets. He is New Zealand’s highest wicket-taker in the Test with 431 wickets to his name.
He was also a great allrounder and had performed with the bat too. He is one of the 4 players to take 400 test wickets and score over 3000 runs.
3. Daniel Vettori
Vettori is one of the silent killers of the game, who attacked his opponent with his disciplined line and length. Not a major turner of the ball, but his style of bowling was a contemporary of Anil Kumble.
Vettori became the youngest player to debut for the kiwis in Test cricket at the age of 18. In his career, he has taken 361 Test wickets and 297 ODI wickets. He is their highest wicket-taker in the ODI’s and also after combining all formats.
When he retired post-2015 cricket World cup, he retired as the most capped New Zealand player in the Tests and the ODI’s.
2. Kane Williamson
As the great Martin Crowe once said for Williamson “ we are probably seeing the dawn of our greatest batsmen”. The boy back then lived up to those words and indeed is regarded as New Zealand’s greatest batsman ever.
Williamson is rising through the ranks real quick, he has scored more than 15000 international runs. He is the 2nd highest run-scorer in Test cricket for the black caps, just 400 runs behind the recently retired Ross Taylor. What is more astonishing is that he achieved this feat in just 86 matches.
He has already placed himself into the top 5 players with the most runs for New Zealand in all formats. He also has a calm personality which reflects in his captaincy and under his leadership, New Zealand won their first ICC World Test championship.
1. Ross Taylor
Taylor is the most underrated New Zealand player of all time. His stats and presence in the team reflect his stature. Recently retired from the game as the leading run-scorer for New Zealand. He is their highest run-getter in the Tests as well as the ODI’s.
Taylor has scored over 18000 International runs and also is the most capped Kiwi in all formats. He has appeared in 438 matches for them surpassing Daniel Vettori.
Taylor in February 2020, became the first player in the world to play 100 matches in each format of the game.
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