Data check: New Zealand’s top performers, key stats from victorious World Test Championship campaign


New Zealand etched their name in cricket’s history books on Wednesday as they defeated India by eight wickets to win the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final at Southampton.

Two years after their agonising Super Over loss to England in the 50-over World Cup final at Lord’s, the Blackcaps claimed their first major world title.

“It’s a very special feeling,” said captain Kane Williamson at the presentation ceremony as he paid tribute to a “formidable” India side.

“It was just great the heart that our team showed to get across the line in what was a brilliant Test. We know we don’t always have the stars – we rely on a few other bits and pieces to try and stay in games and be competitive and I think we saw that in this match.”

New Zealand competed in six series in the inaugural WTC cycle (including the final) and played a total of 12 matches – winning eight and losing four.

New Zealand’s performance in the inaugural WTC

Opponent Venue Result
Sri Lanka Away 1-1 (draw)
Australia Away 0-3 (lost)
India Home 2-0 (won)
West Indies Home 2-0 (won)
Pakistan Home 2-0 (won)
Note: The 2021 Eng vs NZ two-Test series wasn’t part of the WTC

Here’s a look at New Zealand’s top performers in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship:

Most runs scored

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 0
Williamson 10 16 1 918 251 61.20 54.06 3 2 2
Latham 12 20 1 719 154 37.84 44.90 1 5 1
Nicholls 11 16 1 592 174 39.46 49.70 2 1 1
Taylor 12 19 3 527 86 32.93 53.72 0 3 0
Watling 11 16 1 418 105* 27.86 40.86 1 2 1

Most wickets taken

Player Mat Inns Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5 10
Southee 11 22 56 5/32 9/110 20.82 2.70 46.2 3 0
Jamieson 7 14 43 6/48 11/117 12.53 2.18 34.3 5 1
Boult 10 20 39 4/28 6/117 27.74 2.92 57.0 0 0
Wagner 8 16 35 4/66 7/133 22.97 2.57 53.5 0 0
de Grandhomme 7 13 11 3/78 3/121 39.63 2.35 100.9 0 0

Now let’s take a look at New Zealand’s matches through the inaugural ICC World Test Championship and their top performers in each series:

Against Sri Lanka (2019)

New Zealand started their WTC campaign with two matches in Sri Lanka in August 2019, and the Blackcaps made a strong comeback in that series. The first Test was in Galle and saw key performances from Ross Taylor, BJ Watling and left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who bagged a five-wicket haul in Sri Lanka’s first innings. The hosts won that opening game by six wickets but the visitors stormed back to win the second and final Test in Colombo by an innings and 65 runs. Centuries from Tom Latham and Watling helped the Kiwis post a mammoth total while Tim Southee picked six wickets in the match.

Most runs by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 4s 6s
Latham 3 229 154 76.33 54.52 1 0 21 1
Watling 3 183 105* 91.50 45.29 1 1 15 0
Taylor 3 112 86 37.33 62.22 0 1 9 0

Most wickets by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5
AY Patel 4 9 5/89 6/163 26.88 2.81 57.3 1
Boult 4 8 3/75 5/92 21.37 2.59 49.3 0
Southee 4 7 4/63 6/78 18.28 2.13 51.4 0

Against Australia (2019-’20)

New Zealand toured Australia for a three-Test series in 2019-’20 and it proved to be the lowest phase in their WTC cycle. The two teams played three Tests in that series (in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney) and the hosts notched up emphatic wins in each of the games, with Mitchell Starc and Marnus Labuschagne playing starring roles. The first Test saw Southee bag a match haul of nine wickets and an 80 from Taylor in the first innings, but Australia won that match by 296 runs. The hosts then continued to dominate by winning the second and third Tests by 247 and 279 runs respectively. Opener Tom Blundell hit a century in the second Test and Neil Wagner was among the wickets, but the Aussies proved to be too strong right through.

Most runs by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 4s 6s
Blundell 4 172 121 43.00 50.00 1 0 21 0
Taylor 6 152 80 25.33 56.29 0 1 18 0
de Grandhomme 6 148 52 24.66 66.36 0 1 15 2

Most wickets by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5
Wagner 6 17 4/83 7/133 22.76 2.45 55.5 0
Southee 4 12 5/69 9/162 25.75 3.10 49.8 1
de Grandhomme 6 7 3/78 3/121 41.00 2.58 95.1 0

Against India (2020)

The eventual finalists of the inaugural World Test Championship met in a two-Test series in early 2020, with hosts New Zealand completing a comfortable clean sweep. Skipper Williamson got an 89 in the first Test and Southee picked another nine-wicket match haul as the Kiwis won by 10 wickets in Wellington. Kyle Jamieson, who was playing his debut series, won the player of the match in the second Test in Christchurch for his five-wicket haul and quick fire 49 in the first innings. New Zealand won the second Test by seven wickets and that marked the beginning of a dominant home run for them in the whites.

Most runs by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 4s 6s
Latham 4 122 52 40.66 53.04 0 2 16 0
Blundell 4 117 55 39.00 42.39 0 1 16 1
Williamson 3 97 89 32.33 57.39 0 1 12 0

Most wickets by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5
Southee 4 14 5/61 9/110 13.14 2.82 27.9 1
Boult 4 11 4/28 6/117 19.36 3.00 38.7 0
Jamieson 4 9 5/45 5/63 16.33 2.57 38.0 1

Against West Indies (2020)

This was the most successful series for New Zealand in their WTC campaign. West Indies visited for a two-Test series in December 2020 and the Kiwis won both matches (in Hamilton and Wellington) by an innings. In the first Test, skipper Williamson smashed a career best 251 as his side posted a mammoth total of 519/7 batting first. Wagner (six wickets) and and Southee (five wickets) then led with the ball as the Windies struggled to cope with the Kiwi bowlers’ swing and accuracy. Latham led the Blackcaps in the second Test and it was Henry Nicholls who hit a 174 to set up a big win for his team. Southee and Jamieson picked seven wickets each in that match, with five-fors in the first innings.

Most runs by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 4s 6s
Williamson 1 251 251 251.00 60.92 1 0 34 2
Nicholls 2 181 174 90.50 57.82 1 0 22 1
Latham 2 113 86 56.50 47.67 0 1 16 1

Most wickets by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5
Southee 4 12 5/32 7/128 18.75 3.05 36.8 1
Jamieson 4 11 5/34 7/77 13.09 2.71 28.9 1
Wagner 4 9 4/66 6/99 20.11 3.12 38.6 0

Against Pakistan (2020-’21)

This was New Zealand’s last Test series in their WTC campaign before the final and they made sure they were clinical. Williamson put the Pakistani bowling attack to the sword in the first Test in Mount Maunganui with a masterful 129, while Taylor, Latham, Blundell, Nicholls and Watling got half-centuries too in that match. The Kiwi bowlers fired in unison in the first Test to help their team bring up a 101-run victory. The second match in Christchurch saw the hosts take things up a notch and register an innings and 176-run win. Williamson slammed 238, Nicholls got 157, and Daryl Mitchell scored an unbeaten 102 batting at No 7. But it was Jamieson who stole the show by picking five wickets in the first innings and six in the second.

Most runs by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 4s 6s
Williamson 3 388 238 129.33 55.90 2 0 42 1
Nicholls 3 224 157 74.66 51.73 1 1 25 1
DJ Mitchell 1 102 102* 91.07 1 0 8 2

Most wickets by New Zealanders in the series

Player Inns Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 5 10
Jamieson 4 16 6/48 11/117 11.68 2.07 33.8 2 1
Boult 4 9 3/43 5/125 29.77 2.96 60.3 0 0
Southee 4 6 2/33 4/102 34.66 2.26 92.0 0 0

All stats courtesy ESPNcricinfo

Also read:

Redemption after 2019 heartbreak: Reactions to New Zealand winning WTC Final

Full text: More than one Test to decide champion, batting plans and more – Kohli’s press conference

A very proud moment in our history: Full text of Williamson’s press conference after WTC Final

The quick and the dead: Focus on India’s stuttering middle-order batsmen as they fail again

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