By Niall Anderson at Chester-le-Street

When the Black Caps were destroying England's Cricket World Cup hopes in 2015, little did they know the revolution they were inspiring.

Routed for 123 by the best figures in New Zealand ODI history – Tim Southee's 7-33 – England's ultimate humiliation was still to come in the Black Caps' chase, where the hosts needed a mere 12.2 overs to storm to victory behind Brendon McCullum's 77 from 25 balls.

So severe was the thrashing that the floodlights didn't even need to be turned on for the day-night encounter, and the manner of the defeat – the lowest point of a World Cup campaign that saw England crash out in pool play - gave captain Eoin Morgan an epiphany.


No longer were England going to be ODI pushovers - it was time for them to adopt New Zealand's mindset, and be fearless.

Since adopting that aggressive philosophy, England have won 75 per cent of their ODIs at home, have cultivated the most destructive batting lineup in the world, and, as an added bonus, have won seven of the 11 ODIs played against New Zealand from that fateful day.

Morgan believes that the Black Caps' showing at the 2015 World Cup opened the eyes of a lot of teams to a better way of playing cricket.

"It was as close to rock bottom as I've been, certainly as a captain, as a player, being beaten off the park like that is humiliating. I think the [Black Caps'] influence throughout that whole World Cup on all the other teams around the world was quite extreme.

"New Zealand proved a point that you can be really good humans and grow the game and play cricket in your own way and win at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world.

"I thought that rubbed off on everybody in the World Cup."

Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor now theorises, in a roundabout way, that England could be the side that struggling teams look at for inspiration at this World Cup.

"They are definitely playing a great brand of cricket that a lot of teams around the world are looking up and saying, 'That's a bit of us'.


"Obviously, Morgs and Brendon have a very good relationship and England, since the last World Cup, have been the form side both away from home and at home. They play an attractive brand of cricket and they trust their batting line-up and bowling line-up.

"I think you have still got to be authentic to yourself and I think they have found a brand of cricket that suits them."

It's a brand of cricket that has already produced one streak-snapping victory - beating India for the first time since 1992 at a World Cup. Now, with a place in the semifinals on the line for both sides tonight, England are aiming for another, having not beaten New Zealand since 1983.

None of the England team were alive that day, but for the Black Caps, a more recent memory will suffice. A repeat of 2015, say, would be extremely welcome.

The Alternative Commentary Collective are podcasting their way through the World Cup. Known for their unconventional sports analysis and off-kilter banter, the ACC have come to ask the tough questions. Here's the latest episode of 'The Agenda':