Jeremy Wells: Strategy for the next World Cup

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In the case of the 1992 World Cup we can honestly say that some of our tactics were truly revolutionary. Photo / Getty Images
In the case of the 1992 World Cup we can honestly say that some of our tactics were truly revolutionary. Photo / Getty Images

With the 2015 cricket World Cup 785 days away it's time to start thinking about a national strategy to win our first piece of significant cricketing silverware.

My memory harks back to our greatest World Cup campaign in 1992 when we shook the cricketing establishment with the kind of innovative thinking New Zealanders have for years been tricked into believing is unique to our psyche.

Every nation on earth has cultural myths surrounding ingenuity but in the case of the 1992 World Cup we can honestly say that some of our tactics were truly revolutionary.

Much has been said about the impact of pinch-hitting opener Mark Greatbatch, and while I enjoyed every flick, swing and jab of his SS Turbo, the true genius was our use of club-level bowling to disrespect and bamboozle opposition batsmen.

When Martin Crowe tossed Rod Latham the ball in the opening game on a glorious January afternoon at Eden Park, Australia were cruising at 90 for 1 chasing 249.

David Boon, one of the best collectors of runs and carbohydrates to play for Australia, was in total control.

He must have sniggered to himself after he watched Rod Latham deliver his first ball, which, luckily for Latham's ego, predated speed-ball radars (suffice to say it would not have been ticketed if it was driving on the open road with a trailer).

What occurred over the next two hours was one of the most poorly executed chases in the history of cricket as the Australians fell to bits in the face of New Zealand's barrage of slow bowling.

The lifeless Eden Park pitch played a role in victory but what really won us the game was our courage to bowl pedestrian, straight rubbish backed up by good fielding.

In the years since the 1992 World Cup we've produced some of the least entertaining bowlers to lace up, or in the case of Mitre, Velcro-on shoes and play for their country.

For a long time we were boring our way to victory with a style of play usually reserved for presidents grade cricket: Gavin Larsen, Chris Harris and Nathan Astle became national heroes - held in the same regard reserved for mountain climbers or professional soldiers we send overseas.

But is there a correlation between New Zealand's ODI success and the pace of our bowling? The short answer is, "no".

The long answer is: "Well, depends on what you call slow, and to be honest I can't really be bothered correlating the stats because my internet connection is really slow here due to the fact that someone keeps illegally downloading movies."

So let's just forget I even asked that question.

Back to the 2015 World Cup. New Zealand need to think outside the square.

I've long believed the sightscreen nature of the black New Zealand uniform hands a huge advantage to the opposing batting side.

It's crucial we return our uniforms to the French Grey colour palette used in the early 90s.

I've got a friend at a Resene colour shop and he reckons by the time the white ball reaches 30 overs old it becomes a shade known in the trade as Eighth Pearl Lusta* - a complementary colour to French Grey - popular around windows and scotia on the exteriors of overpriced villas in Grey Lynn.

Unfortunately our new uniforms won't win us the World Cup on their own. We may also need to resort to ball tampering or pitch doctoring to complement the uniform change and put the odds firmly in our favour - all measures that I support wholeheartedly.

Whatever the method, it's important we start thinking about it now. Tomorrow we'll be only 784 days away from our date with cricketing destiny.

*Resene colour wheels are available from all leading paint stockists.

- NZ Herald

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