It’s not a wise idea to take New Zealand lightly. Not anymore. It’s not advisable. It’s cricket’s version of a disclaimer that reads: the side is not responsible for the ramifications if a team decides to confront New Zealand. With the kind of form Guptill has been in, given in Williamson, New Zealand have their Virat Kohli and in Ross Taylor a batsman that isn’t ageing anymore, it can hurt opponents to crash into the Kiwis. But moreover, their combined batting strength doesn’t merely rest with the famous troika.
The rise of Colin Munro Record Breaker
In Colin Munro, there’s an accomplished ball thrasher, who derives pleasure in mocking fast bowlers. Not a find-the-gap-push-the-ball but, find-any-ball-thrash-it kind of player, Munro is the modern representation of T20 cricket awarding fans for their enthusiasm.
While it would be a misnomer to suggest that the 31-year-old Colin Munro Record breaker doesn’t lash out at bowlers with cross-batted heaves, Munro exhibits flair by hitting in line with the ball. To any bowler, the cricketing equivalent of gory horror is when a batsman dances down the track. When Munro came down on Thisara Perera on January 10, 2016 sending him about twelve rows back into Auckland’s Eden Park, hearts stopped, fear rushed down on Sri Lankan minds and the scorers got busy. A record-breaking second fastest T20 fifty was struck as all Colin Munro- cricket’s finest hockey-style pounder-took to reach fifty was just 14 balls.
A savage batsman
The game truly loves an impact player. Someone who can get going from ball one and reduce the side’s pressure by conveniently passing it over to the bowling unit. Munro, who’s not style but savagery, not a brand ambassador of dogged determination but decimation, is an arresting talent; someone whose time has come. He whacked the likes of Bumrah and Kumar on New Zealand’s 2017 tour to Kohli-land and struck a magnificent T20 hundred. Later that year, he reminded the West Indies that touring Williamson-land was an idea hatched in hell. Striking 113 runs from 3 ODIs against India, Munro felt bettering his accumulation in T20s would be a good idea. So he went 10 better and ensured he’d strike 109 off just one game. At Rajkot, he stayed out at the crease for 58 balls and plundered 7 sixes pushing Kohli, Dhawan, Sharma in disbelief.
Then when a somewhat confused, sleepy and disinterested Windies descended in New Zealand, Munro simply ridiculed them. In striking 219 runs, he plundered 15 sixes. It seemed, he didn’t relish the idea of playing the West Indies. He made them feel unwelcomed. He was unforgiving. In great contrast to New Zealand’s tour to West Indies, where plundering of runs often takes a backseat to accumulation of runs, together with Guptill, Taylor, Munro ensured the series would simply be a six-hitting fest. As New Zealand look to make the most of a cricketing year where they’ve already won 7 off 10 ODI games, with series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka to go, Munro would await the opportunity to brandish his record against the sub-continental sides.
Munro ensures NZ aren’t just about Guptill and Taylor
Today New Zealand are amongst the best balanced sides in the world, probably a few notches above South Africa in limited overs cricket. They seemed determined to outscore their big opponents, the trio of India, South Africa and Australia. And in Colin Munro Record rests one their main strengths, rather a brazen force of nature who’s adept at making polished attacks seem abrasive and susceptible to critical injuries. In the contemporary structure of the contest, injuries spell truncated careers and all formats of the game impose the great threat of draining players of their energies. In such light, Colin Munro’s decision to focus solely on white-ball cricket- a format where his strengths reach their maximum potential- seems just as sorted as witnessing a bludgeoning drive to the covers. In the present context, New Zealand seem to have found a Sanath Jayasuriya equivalent who seems driven to score more and quickly whilst consuming lesser deliveries. He thrives on big contests and doesn’t distinguish between opponents to make noises with his bat.
It in someways offers great relief to the likes of Taylor and Williamson who, in the event of a Martin Guptill failure had to do the bulwark of the scoring. Today, the Kiwis find a stable cushioning thanks to the histrionics of Munro’s bat, who seems disinterested in both- rubbing his triumphs on his opponents face as well as in taking a dig at bowlers through shenanigans. It speaks well of a confident batsman who rests his talent purely on his ability to massacre attacks and doesn’t relish the idea of philandering with limelight.
Moreover, with Colin Munro around, the great legacy of Baz’ uncompromising instincts and big-hitting ways continues catapulting the Kiwis to the attention of a world that is so often besotted with a Kohli, De Villiers and Steve Smith show.
Munro in ODIs
|Matches||Runs||Average||Highest score||50s||Strike rate|
Munro in T20s
|Matches||Runs||Average||Highest score||50s||100s||Strike rate|
Munro against some of the leading T20 talents
|Player||Matches||Runs||Avg||Highest score||50s||100s||Strike rate|