Euro 2020 Special
 

New Zealand Name World Cup Squad; Black Caps Hoping to Go One Stage Further This Time

New Zealand have named their squad for the World Cup in Australia next month and there are few surprises in the names included. Only Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, and Lockie Ferguson were not part of the side that competed in the last World Cup in the Middle East last year.

They replace Kyle Jamieson, who is injured and still rehabilitating from back problems, whilst Tim Seifert and Todd Astle both miss out because of a lack of form.

And it also means that both Trent Boult and Jimmy Neesham are included despite Boult announcing that he intends to scale back his international commitments, whilst Neesham recently turned down the offer of a central contract.

 

Guptill joins an exclusive club

Martin Guptill’s inclusion in the squad sees the opener join an exclusive club of players who have featured in seven World Cups alongside the West Indian duo of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, Mohammad Mahmudullah of Bangladesh (a surprise omission when their squad was announced this time), and his compatriot Mushfiqur Rahim.

Nathan McCullum and Ross Taylor both appeared in six World Cups for the Kiwis.

However, Indian captain Rohit Sharma and Shakib Al-Hasan of Bangladesh are set to go one better and this will be the eighth World Cup for them.

 

Williamson captains the side again

The side will be captained by Kane Williamson, who has a mixed record in World Cup finals.

He was on the losing side as New Zealand lost the 50over a side World Cup final to England in 2019 by the narrowest of margins, losing on account of having scored fewer boundaries after the scores were tied after the regulation 50 overs each and a Super Over.

He also led them to their defeat in the World Cup in Dubai last year, losing by eight wickets to Australia in Dubai. However, five months earlier, he got to taste the champagne as his country beat India in the inaugural World Test Championship final in Southampton.

 

Other selections

Fast bowler Adam Milne keeps his place in the team having replaced the injured Ferguson early in the tournament last year. The two will now compete for a place in the starting XI.

Meanwhile, Devon Conway will don the gloves after taking over as first choice wicket-keeper in series against the UAE and the West Indies.

For Allen and Bracewell in particular, this represents a big opportunity. Bracewell only made his debut for his country early this year. But the 31-year old, who comes from a long line of cricketing relatives, has already proved his worth with bat and ball and he may have a key role to play in the weeks ahead.

 

New Zealand World Cup history

New Zealand have never won the World Cup and that appearance in the final last time was the first time they had got to that stage of the competition.

They have played 37 previous matches in the competition, winning 20 of them and tying two more, making them statistically just the seventh most successful team of all time.

 

Their group

They already know that they have been drawn in Group 1 of the Super 12 stage of the tournament and with the hosts, Australia, England, and Afghanistan both in the same group along with two yet to be determined teams, so arguably they are in the worse side of the draw.

With only two teams advancing to the knockout stages, they will have their work cut out if they want to progress especially as they are playing in the opening match of the main tournament itself against the hosts and defending champions on October 22nd in Sydney.

According to the bookmakers, they are currently fourth favourites to win the Cup for the first time -behind Australia, India, and England.

 

The warm-up schedule

New Zealand begin their build-up to the World Cup with a tri-partite T20I series with Pakistan and Bangladesh. That begins on October 7th in Christchurch and will feature seven matches in eight days.

And then when they arrive in Australia itself, they have warm-up matches scheduled against South Africa on 17th October, and then against India two days later, with both games taking place in Brisbane.

 

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