The global cricket fraternity was quick to applaud New Zealand after the perennial “good guys” of the game ended their major title drought with a hard-fought win over India in the World Test Championship final.
Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson steered New Zealand home, humbling India by eight wickets in the marquee clash on Wednesday.
Having lost the 2015 and 2019 World Cup finals, the latter on a bizarre boundary rule to England after 50 overs each and two super overs couldn’t split the two sides, “everyone’s second favourite team” finally crossed the final hurdle.
“Turns out the nice guys of world cricket can finish first after all,” wrote Stuff.co.nz. “Until now, it had been a case of close, but no cigar, for the Black Caps, widely dubbed the nice guys of world cricket and everyone’s second favourite team.”
The duo of former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja and ex-India opener Gautam Gambhir couldn’t agree more.
“Good things happen to good people. Congrats Kane Williamson,” Raja said “Nice guys don’t always finish last! Congrats NZ. World No.1! #WTC2021Final,” Gambhir tweeted.
New Zealand has been one of the most consistent teams, although a tad bit unlucky, in recent times. It is currently the top-ranked team in Tests and ODIs and occupies the third spot in the T20s.
And at the heart of New Zealand’s success is its “Captain Cool” – Williamson – one of the most likeable players in cricket.
“Congratulations @BLACKCAPS a humble, hardworking and outstanding Test team- worthy champions,” former England captain Michael Atherton tweeted.
Black Caps batsman Martin Guptill and former all-rounders Scott Styris and Grant Elliott were also delighted to achieve the feat by defeating a formidable Indian side.
“What incredible news to wake up to! Huge congrats to @kane_s_w and the rest of the @blackcapsnz ! Incredibly proud of this bunch of guys to come away with the win against a strong Indian side! Celebrate well lads!” Guptill wrote.
“Sensational performance @BLACKCAPS Deserved champions beating a great opponent. Enjoy gents! What an achievement,” Styris said.
“Humility, hard work, dedication to the team and the fans. World champions in so many ways. Gather ye rose buds while ye may………[email protected]” Elliott tweeted.
The Kiwis also earned rich praise from Indian Test veterans, including batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who also rued India’s missed chance at earning silverware.
“Congrats @BLACKCAPS on winning the #WTC21. You were the superior team. #TeamIndia will be disappointed with their performance.
“As I had mentioned the first 10 overs will be crucial & India lost both Kohli & Pujara in the space of 10 balls & that put a lot of pressure on the team, Tendulkar tweeted.
VVS Laxman wrote: “Indian batsman will rue not playing to potential in 2nd inngs, but India can be proud of the way they played the WTC cycle #IndvNZ.”
“Missed being 50-over champions 2 years ago in the same country, but winning the inaugural World test Championship in style, many congratulations @BLACKCAPS , absolutely worthy champions. Happy for Kane Williamson and @RossLTaylor #INDvNZ” Virender Sehwag said.