Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir reckons New Zealand deserved the tag being ODI world champions and should have been declared joint winners alongside England last year.

New Zealand finished fourth in the league stage and then beat favourites India in a semi-final that was stretched over two days due to inclement weather.

In a dramatic final at Lord’s in 2019, England beat New Zealand on boundary counts after the two sides ended on level terms despite a Super Over.

That finish triggered a raging debate over the logic of choosing winner based on boundary leading to a radical change. Now, there’s provision for multiple Super Overs till the time one side emerges clear winner.

It was the second straight occasion that New Zealand finished as runners-up after losing to Australia in the summit clash in 2015.

“There should have been joint World Cup winners last time around,” Gambhir told Star Sports’ Cricket Connected. “They (New Zealand) should have gotten that tag of being World Champions, but it was unfortunate.”

Gambhir praised the Kane Williamson-led outfit for the consistency in ODIs and felt that they have been competitive in every condition.

“If you see their overall record, they have been very consistent,” he said. “For the last one World Cup, and the World Cup before that, they were the runners-up and they have been very consistent. I think they have been very competitive in every condition they have played. We don’t give them enough credit.”

Currently, New Zealand are ranked third in ODIs behind India at second and world champion England at the top.