One of the most surprising things when New Zealand announced their squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup is the inclusion of wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell in the side. Blundell is relatively to new to the top level and has hardly played international matches and still, he was preferred over Tim Siefert, who had a good T20I series against India. Apart from this, there was no major surprises as the Kiwis picked a strong and an experienced side to win their first ever World Cup.
A majority of the players who are a part of the World Cup were also a part of the 2015 ICC World Cup that held in Australia and New Zealand.
ICC World Cup Team 2019 New Zealand 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
Who all will make it to the playing XI?
Without a doubt, Martin Guptill is one of the best batsmen in the ODI format and among the openers, he is on top among the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow etc. He is set to open the batting for the Kiwis and his opening partner will be a toss-up between Henry Nicholls and Colin Munro with the former likely to get the nod over the southpaw.
Skipper Kane Williamson will be batting at number 3 and the right-hander has done well, not just in this format, but in all the three formats he has played. Following the skipper will be the old warhorse Ross Taylor, who will be playing his fourth World Cup. Taylor is one of the most underrated batsmen in ODIs as he has a great record and since the start of the year, he has been very consistent. Over the last four years, wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham cemented the number 5 slot in the playing XI and is expected to do the job for his team coming in at that position and with the gloves.
New Zealand have batting just till number 5 and have the cushion of two all-rounders who can deliver with both and ball. Jimmy Neesham has grabbed his chances and cemented his place in the XI with his heroics this year and is expected to be a part of the XI, something that would have been a mere sentence around a year ago. Depending on the condition, NZ can rotate Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner as the second all-rounder.
While NZ can play three all-rounders with Santner as the third, there are more chances of Ish Sodhi as playing as the lone spinner instead of Santner taking care of the spin department.
While Tim Southee and Trent Boult are automatic choices, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry will be fighting for the final place in the XI with Henry being the favorite to be the third pacer.
2019 World Cup New Zealand Team Squad
- Martin Guptill
- Henry Nicholls
- Kane Williamson
- Ross Taylor
- Tom Latham
- Colin de Grandhomme
- Jimmy Neesham
- Ish Sodhi
- Tim Southee
- Trent Boult
- Matt Henry