ANALYSIS: New Zealand’s recently concluded ODI tour of Pakistan is not likely to have much of an impact on their World Cup squad.
A mostly second-string Black Caps team was beaten 4-1 by a virtually complete home team, who were ahead with bat and ball.
With eight top-tier players missing due to their Indian Premier League commitments, and injured captain Kane Williamson looking highly unlikely to be tournament fit, the five games presented opportunities for other players to claim a place in the team for this year’s One Day World Cup which begins in India in October.
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But none of the fringe Cup selections made a compelling case for forcing their way to a clinched spot for the tournament.
Instead, New Zealand’s best players were a trio we knew would already be automatic selections for the 15-man squad: Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham and Matt Henry.
Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Trent Boult*, Tim Southee, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Glenn Phillips, Lockie Ferguson, Adam Milne, Michael Bracewell.
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Black Caps manager Gary Stead says Kane Williamson requires knee surgery and is “unlikely” to play in the Cricket World Cup.
Head coach Gary Stead indicated on his return from Pakistan that “11 or 12” places in the Black Caps 15-man squad were secured, leaving three or four places up for grabs.
Of the contenders who went to Pakistan, Will Young was probably the pick of the bunch. The top-order bat is considered the player most likely to replace Williamson on the team, and possibly the first choice to play in the XI.
Used as a starter in all five matches, Young made 240 runs at an average of 48, at a strike rate of 95.23 while facing a world-class pace attack.
It was a little surprising that he was never employed at the No. 3, Williamson’s job, possibly indicating that Stead is considering using Conway in that role in India. Currently excelling in the IPL, the 31-year-old is versatile enough to be aggressive on the power play or stack up while tackling most overs.
The lefty, who is averaging 45.81 in ODIs, has been used as an opener in his last 11 matches for New Zealand.
ON THE CUSP:
Finn Allen, Will Young, Ish Sodhi, Jimmy Neesham, Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Chad Bowes, Henry Shipley.
Finn Allen has been Conway’s regular opening partner of late, but he hasn’t hit the nail on the head, averaging 26 in his last 10 appearances, and has been racking up cobwebs with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
Chad Bowes, Tom Blundell and Mark Chapman – the latter added to the ODI squad after starring in the previous T20 series – all had their moments without indicating that they would be more valuable than the current first-choice XI batsmen.
Among the all-rounders, none of Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra and Cole McConchie burst through an open door. McConchie’s power shot in game four was impressive, but he remains well behind Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell in the spin bowling/late order batting pecking order.
Kyle Jamieson, Henry Nicholls, Cole McConchie, Ben Lister, Tim Seifert, Rachin Ravindra, Blair Tickner, Josh Clarkson.
Sailor Henry Shipley produced good pace and showed wicket-taking ability, and he could get another chance to impress when New Zealand play four ODIs in England as their final build-up ahead of the World Cup.
However, his chances of making the World Cup squad, which is due to be named ahead of the tour of England, will likely be markedly reduced if Trent Boult is available and sought for selection, as seems likely.
Stead also mentioned that Kyle Jamieson, who underwent back surgery after withdrawing from the Test series against England in February, could still be in the selection fray, although Brains Confidence will be very cautious about the return of the great fast pitcher after he collapsed when ready to play. his first cap since the initial ailment ruled him out of the Test series in England last year.
New Zealand play their ODI series against England in September, at which time the Black Caps will have a new selector to replace the late Gavin Larsen.
If Neesham and Nicholls are not favoured, the 2023 Cup squad could feature just four of those who played in the dramatic loss to England in the 2019 final at Lord’s.
LIKELY BLACK CAPS WORLD CUP SQUAD: Finn Allen, Will Young, Devon Conway, Tom Latham (captain), Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman/Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult .