The population of New Zealand is around five million, less than half that of Bangalore, my home city in southern India.
Even if you include all the sheep in New Zealand – seven to a person – it is still below that of many Indian states. Rugby, not cricket is the top sport, attracting the money, the talent, and much of the attention.
India, in contrast, with a population of 1.3 billion, rule the cricket world. They have more players to choose from, enormous amounts of money, power and are the No. 1 one-day team.
So it was like a single David taking on half a dozen Goliaths when New Zealand beat India in the semi-final of the World Cup on Wednesday.
India had the stars, New Zealand had the team. India’s backroom staff earn more than many corporate professionals, New Zealand don’t have the funds for that kind of extravagance.
India had the best batsman in the world, the best bowler, and the man who had made five centuries in this tournament. New Zealand had Kane Williamson, captain and main batsman, who scored nearly a third of all their runs.
India had the largest number of travelling fans in England; New Zealand’s commentators seemed to know their supporters in the crowd by name.