From Sir Richard Hadlee to Kane Williamson | Top 10 New Zealand Cricketers
Sir Richard Hadlee claimed 431 Test wickets [Source: Twitter]
Despite monetary constraints, New Zealand have always produced cricketers, who have left a mark on the game for upcoming generations to learn and adopt. While the international trophies may have eluded the Blackcaps on several occasions, their passion, skill, and hunger for the game cannot be underestimated.
New Zealand have been blessed over the years, that their batters, bowlers, and all-rounders have all shaped their cricket into what it is today, by bringing innovative ideas and path-breaking mindsets into the system periodically since 1930.
In this list, let us look into the Top 10 cricketers from New Zealand, who have impacted in one way or another.
Sir Richard Hadlee
Richard Hadlee [Source: Twitter]
Regarded as one of the best all-rounders in cricket, Sir Richard Hadlee troubled batters with his pace. Hadlee's ability to swing the new ball made him unplayable, which saw him claim 431 Test, and 158 ODI wickets, respectively.
No mug with the bat, Hadlee was a power-hitter like no other and toyed with bowlers scoring runs at will. The legendary Kiwi is one of only six players in Tests to have scored 3,000 runs and taken 400 wickets.
John Wright [Source: Twitter]
John Wright held New Zealand's batting together in an era where West Indies batters ran rampage. Wright became the first Kiwi batter to 5,000 Test and also scored 3,891 ODI runs.
The opener exhibited sound technique and did not shy away from scoring runs when given an opportunity. Wright, after retiring went on to become a highly successful coach for India and New Zealand.
Martin Crowe [Source: Twitter]
The most influential cricketer in New Zealand, Martin Crowe took the international arena by storm with his batting. Crowe displayed technical brilliance and had an array of shots under his armory, which saw him score 5,444 Test and 4,707 ODI runs for the Kiwis.
An astute captain, Crowe is credited with changing the way cricket was played during the 1992 World Cup. Post his career, Crowe worked with several modern-day New Zealand batters.
Stephen Fleming [Source: Twitter]
From leading New Zealand to their maiden ICC title in 2000, Stephen Fleming gained recognition as an acclaimed batter. Fleming displayed technical superiority over other batters of his era and went on to become the nation's third-highest run-getter with 15,289 runs.
Fleming remains New Zealand's most successful Test skipper, leading them to 28 Test wins, and is their second-highest ODI run-getter behind Ross Taylor.
Chris Cairns [Source: Twitter]
All-rounder Chris Cairns lived up to his high expectations and helped New Zealand gain global recognition throughout the 1990s. An in-your-face character, Cairns devastated oppositions with his power-hitting down the order and further contributed with his intelligent medium-pace bowling, that relied on variations.
The 52-year-old slammed a memorable century against India in the ICC Knockout Trophy 2000 Final, helping New Zealand win their maiden global title. A controversial figure post his retirement, the second-generation cricketer finished with 8,270 runs and 419 wickets, combined.
Tim Southee [Source: Twitter]
One of the finest bowlers of this generation, Tim Southee has elevated New Zealand's bowling to new heights. Ever since Shane Bond's retirement, Southee has been the backbone of the Kiwi attack.
Starting as an outright fast bowler, the 34-year-old has developed into a smart and shrewd cricketer, whose ability to swing the ball both ways has tormented opposition batters. With 714 international wickets, Southee is miles ahead of other New Zealand bowlers past and present.
Daniel Vettori [Source: Twitter]
A silent worker, Daniel Vettori went about his work nonchalantly. Vettori's pinpoint accuracy and disciplined bowling made him a threat to opposition batters. Not a prodigious spinner of the cricket ball, the left-arm bowler mainly outfoxed batters with drift and guile.
Debuting aged 18, Vettori finished his international career with 361 Tests, 297 ODI, and six T20Is wickets, respectively. Vettori as captain excelled in white-ball cricket, while his Test captaincy had a lot to prove.
Brendon McCullum [Source: Twitter]
Brendon McCullum single-handled changed New Zealand's future for good. As a batter, McCullum played explosive cricket and treated all bowlers on equal footing. With 14,676 runs for New Zealand across formats, McCullum finishes his career being credited for scoring the fastest Test hundred.
However, McCullum's real contribution came in as captain, who instilled confidence and aggression in the Black Caps side during his tenure.
Ross Taylor [Source: Twitter]
An absolute team man, Ross Taylor carried New Zealand's batting for 16 long years. Taylor, who scored mainly via pulls and sweep shots, is the nation's leading run-scorer with 18,199.
The prolific scorer had a rough captaincy stint, that lasted for two years, which did not affect his form with the bat. To Taylor's credit, the middle-order batter became the first international player to feature in 100 matches across all formats.
Taylor played a crucial role in New Zealand winning the ICC World Test Championship Mace in 2021 against India.
Kane Williamson [Source: Twitter]
Carrying the legacy of the great Crowe forward, Kane Williamson has established himself as a modern-day great. The gifted batter that Williamson is, has never looked troubled against either pace or spin bowling and has craved his niche and method of scoring.
As a captain, Williamson's calm composure has helped New Zealand reach the ICC World Cup 2019 Final and clinch the inaugural ICC World Test Championship 2021. The 32-year-old is the second-highest run-getter for New Zealand across formats with 17,142.