Corey Anderson has displayed the characteristic penchant for destruction © Getty Images
Corey Anderson has displayed the characteristic penchant for destruction © Getty Images

New Zealand‘s burly all-rounder Corey Anderson has come back from a lengthy injury lay off only recently, and it has taken him only a handful of games before he has produced his best. He was almost single-handedly responsible for New Zealand inflicting a crushing defeat on Pakistan in the third Twenty20 International (T20I) at Wellington’s ‘Cake-tin.’ First he destroyed Pakistan’s bowlers with a 42-ball 82 not out and then produced an effective early spell which all but sealed the opposition’s doomed fate. Anderson is back and he is looking hungry. Cricket Scorecard: New Zealand vs Pakistan 2015-16, 3rd T20I.

At one end of the world Ben Stokes is taking the Test arena by storm furthering his reputation as a game-changer with both bat and ball. In New Zealand, Anderson has resumed doing the same thing despite a long, unfortunate injury layoff; albeit in another format. The charismatic all-rounders are here to woo the world. MATCH REPORT: New Zealand slam Pakistan by 95 runs in 3rd T20I at Wellington; take series 2-1

Anderson looked a little bit rusty in his first few matches on comeback against Sri Lanka, but he has not consumed too many matches to get back to his. His performance against Pakistan inspired awe; he bludgeoned balls to all corners of the park leaving Pakistan’s fierce bowling attack looking helpless.

In the second innings, Kane Williamson thrust him the ball early and he returned with impressive figures. With a good mix of pace, line and length blending with his characteristic unusual bounce, he helped in the dismantling of Pakistan’s top order taking two wickets in three overs at the expense of just 17 runs. He has well and truly sounded the bells of his revival.

This comeback bears special value for the Kiwis with the ICC World T20 2016 lurking in the corner, coming closer with each passing day. In the aftermath of Brendon McCullum’s retirement New Zealand are going to be in dire need of characters of the ilk of Anderson to uphold the aggressive style of play which has worked like a charm for the Black Caps.

It should be noted that performances in New Zealand are not necessarily the measure of one’s worth in a country like India. However, Anderson has had plenty of experience in Indian conditions thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he plays for the Mumbai Indians. His heroics will definitely put him in a better frame of mind to maximise his potential in India for the ICC World T20 2016.

Another standout feature of New Zealand’s wins over Pakistan is the visibility of a ruthless streak in skipper Williamson, who is thought to be a soft personality. His decision to bowl Anderson early was at least in part to play on Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad’s psychological scars of having had his skull fractured after getting hit by an Anderson bouncer in a Test series in the 2013-14 season. The ploy worked and Shehzad has looked rather uncomfortable against the comeback man.

New Zealand are shaping well as a team in the absence of McCullum. They have played T20I series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan without his guidance and have won four out of the five games against them. Martin Guptill is scoring runs by the truckload at top of the order, assisted by the more calculated Williamson at the other end. Runs are coming in the middle order too. The bowling department has shown the same wholesomeness that has taken them to new heights. Anderson’s return to the field and a spike in form only better New Zealand’s standing.

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)