It's nice to see how New Zealand have shaped up, says former pacer Gavin Larsen

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Auckland, Mar 11: Gavin Larsen says if he could rein in the batsmen of 1990s era even with his military medium pace it was because of his skipper Martin Crowe's tremendous leadership style and his faith in the bowlers.

World Cup Special

The former Kiwi player said Crowe's captaincy was very innovative during the 1992 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

It's nice to see how New Zealand have shaped up, says former pacer Gavin Larsen

"Martin was a superb tactician. He was very shrewd. I can call him a chess Grand Master and I was one of his chess pieces. It was a different time and things were pretty much scripted for us. We had a model that we implemented successfully," Larsen, who is the Operations Head of the NZC’s World Cup organizing committee, told PTI during an interaction.

"We had myself, Chirs Harris, Willie Watson, Rod Latham, Dipak Patel, bowling wicket to wicket with good field placements. We had a good team then. I think the manner in which game was played back then, we were right up there," said the 52-year-old, who was known for his parsimonious economy rate of 3.76 over 121 ODIs in which he got 113 wickets.

The current New Zealand team under Brendon McCullum is on a roll in the ongoing edition and Larsen was asked to compare the 'Class of 92' which reached the semi-finals before losing to Pakistan and Inzamam ul Haq in particular.

For Larsen, current captain McCullum is also a man who loves to lead by example. "Brendon leads from front and that manifests in the manner his team plays.

If you have mild captain, the attitude permeates in the team and a lot of it down can be put down to Brendon's captaincy," the Wellington based Larsen said.

Larsen's semi-final picks has been similar to what most people have predicted: New Zealand, Australia, India and South Africa.

"India are travelling nicely and it’s really nice to see how the Black Caps have shaped up," said the former medium pacer.

The New Zealand bowling attack of 1992 World Cup was filled with bowlers who were popularly named "dibbly dobbly wobblies" for the 120 kmph speed but which was very effective during that phase.

A master of varying the pace of his deliveries, Larsen was asked how he could effectively take the pace off the ball. His answer was interesting one.

"Well, may be the reason being able to take the pace off was because I couldn't bowl fast. I came through a period when pitches in New Zealand were a bit low and slow in early 90’s.

In a sense those pitches were tailor-made for cricketers like myself, Harris, and players of that ilk. We bowled medium pace and batsman had to force the issue. But honestly, if I bowl that stuff today, I would be in trouble."

PTI

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