For ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 New Zealand was the first nation to announce a 15-man squad for to be held in England and Wales from May 30 onwards.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 New Zealand Squad
Kane Williamson will lead the side and a lot revolves around the sturdy cricketer. Veteran Ross Taylor is set to be the seventh New Zealand player to feature in four Cricket World Cups. That’s a massive achievement.
Meanwhile, Williamson, Tim Southee, and Martin Guptill will be playing in their third World Cup tourney. All three are currently plying their trades in the ongoing 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The biggest surprise came in the form of wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, who is yet to play an ODI. Tim Seifert, a regular back-up in recent times to Tom Latham, was excluded.
This was partly due to a broken finger which has kept him out of action for the past month.
Blundell’s List A record is decent – he has averaged 23.81 with three half-centuries in 40 games so far, though he has a Test hundred. He is considered as a talented keeper behind the stumps.
Seamer Doug Bracewell, who featured in New Zealand’s home season, was handed the axe.
There were several other fast bowlers competing for spots, which led to Bracewell missing out.
Coach Gary Stead said that there were some tough calls during the selection process, but felt the right balance has been struck.
“The World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket, and to be the first nation to name a squad for the tournament is really exciting.
I’d like to congratulate all the players selected. To represent your country at a World Cup is a huge honor, and I know the entire squad and support staff are looking forward to the challenges ahead,” he said.
“As with any squad named for a major tournament, there’s had to be some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players.
The key for us was finding the right balance for the squad and making sure we had our bases covered for what is going to be a very competitive World Cup,” the Kiwi coach added.
New Zealand opens their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on June 1 in Cardiff. Here we analyze ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 New Zealand squad.
Williamson will need to handle the top order
New Zealand have experience in the opening department to start with. Colin Munro and Martin Guptill are the household names.
They will be the main openers and both provide the base of getting off to brisk starts. They can take the game away in a flash and that can set the tempo for the Kiwis. Although, both these players can be guilty of being inconsistent at times.
Guptill, who scored 423 runs in ODIs last year, was wayward against India at the start of 2019. He got back to form against Bangladesh and scripted two successive centuries.
He has the desired quality to come strong. Munro will need to play smart cricket and make his selection count. The southpaw has all the shots in his book, but he has a poor average.
So the onus lies on Williamson to make it count for the side in an event as big as the World Cup. He will be the cynosure of all eyes.
The world class batsman’s role is massive at number three. When you look at other sides, they have their best batters in this position.
Virat Kohli (India), Joe Root (England), Steve Smith (Australia) and Babar Azam (Pakistan) are some of the biggest names donning the role.
Williamson was massive in 2018 and scored 468 runs in 11 matches last year that included two tons. His consistency will be beneficial for the side.
Taylor powers the Kiwis middle order
Ross Taylor was New Zealand’s best batsman in ODIs last year.
He smashed 639 runs in 11 matches and was included in the ICC ODI Team of the Year. The veteran has plenty of experience under his belt.
He has smashed 8,026 runs in 218 ODIs for New Zealand. Taylor’s quality will benefit NZ in the middle order. He has the knack of getting those big scores and steering the side.
Henry Nicholls provides immense quality and depth. He is one of the rising stars of this unit. Nicholls has eight fifties and a ton in ODI cricket.
Tom Latham is a serious customer, who provides the authority in the middle. The southpaw has grown to become a quality name over the last five years.
The wicket-keeper batsman’s aggression will be crucial for the side.
Jimmy Neesham is a powerful all-rounder and his exploits with the bat in the lower middle order will serve purpose. He has the credentials to go long and strong at the death.
The side will be bolstered by his presence as there is a sense of cushion with him. Colin de Grandhomme has risen as a renowned cricketer. He can produce the fireworks and is a superb fielder as well.
28-year-old debutant Blundell will provide the cushion from the bench. He has been decent in domestic cricket.
NZ bowlers have the essentials to thrive
The Black Caps have a solid bowling line-up at their disposal.
The conditions in England and Wales will be supportive of their gameplay and one expects the bowlers to join the party.
Trent Boult, who is a master of swing bowling, could be the one to light up the show for the Kiwis. He was their star player in the 2015 World Cup.
Boult is a big match player and one expects him to stand up and deliver for the Black Caps.
Boult has 147 wickets in 79 ODIs at an economy-rate of 5.07. The left-arm speedster will have the experienced Tim Southee to support him.
Southee was superb in the previous edition of the World Cup and the two bowlers did well with the new ball. Lockie Ferguson brings great pace on offer.
He has the tendency to go for runs, but the right-arm fast bowler can give you wickets. So far he has been solid for New Zealand.
Matt Henry is the fourth pacer of the side. The 27-year-old is a polished cricketer and brings genuine wicket-taking abilities.
He has had a fruitful career with 78 wickets in just 43 matches. The bowler can clock consistently over 140 kph.
Ishant Sodhi got the over Todd Astle as the second main spinner. Sodhi is experienced and has played 63 limited-overs internationals.
He will be effective with his leg-spin on offer. Left-arm spinner Santner will lead the line. The versatile all-rounder is quite a utility player in the ranks for NZ.
Neesham and Grandhomme provide the cushion as pace-bowling all-rounders.
The Kiwis have lots of variety in their bowling and that makes them a solid side.
New Zealand World Cup fixtures list and squad
June 1: New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Cardiff
June 5: Bangladesh v New Zealand, The Oval
June 8: Afghanistan v New Zealand, Taunton
June 13: India v New Zealand, Trent Bridge
June 19: New Zealand v South Africa, Edgbaston
June 22: West Indies v New Zealand, Old Trafford
June 26: New Zealand v Pakistan, Edgbaston
June 29: New Zealand v Australia, Lord’s
July 1: England v New Zealand, Chester-le-Street
NZ squad: Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tom Blundell (wk), Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Colin Munro, Ish Sodhi, Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Jimmy Neesham.