BREAKING | Star International team announces their 15 man squad for the World Cup

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ICC World 2019 | New Zealand become first team to announce their 15-man squad

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SportsCafe Desk

04/03/2019

New Zealand coach Gary Stead has announced the country’s 15 man squad for the World Cup to be held in England and Wales scheduled from June 30. There were no surprises barring the backup wicket-keeper slot, which was given to Tom Blundell, and Kane Williamson will continue with his captaincy duties.

New Zealand have announced their World Cup squad today, and have become the first team to do so. They have put the onus on rather experienced players to bring home the trophy for the first time ever.

"We've got a squad here of 15 players that we think can give us a really, really good chance of going far into the tournament," said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead, reported Agence France-Presse.

In-form batsman Ross Taylor will be the team’s pillar in the middle order. This will be the right-handed batsman’s fourth appearance in the quadrennial event, and he will be country’s seventh cricketer to do so, whereas the experienced trio of Martin Guptill, Tim Southee and skipper Kane Williamson will make their appearance for the third time.

The opening batsman’s duties will be handled by Guptill, along with Henry Nicholls or Colin Munro. The middle order will consist of Williamson, Taylor and the wicket-keeper Tom Latham. Tom Blundell will be the backup wicket-keeper as Tom Seifert is out of the reckoning following a finger injury. The 28-year-old has played two tests and three T20Is, but is still an uncapped player in ODIs.

Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme are the two all-rounders in the squad, whereas the Kiwis have gone ahead with Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi as their spin options, leaving out Todd Astle.

"(Selecting) the spinners was very tough, and both had signs at times that they should've been the one that was selected... but at the end of the day that's my call to make," expressed the former New Zealand batsman.

Trent Boult and Tim Southee will headline the pace department and will have able support in the form of Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry. "If we play close to our potential, then hopefully we can do New Zealand proud,” stated the 47-year-old.

Overall, the number three ranked side in world cricket, after England and India, have a very well balanced side with tons of experience, as four players have each played over a hundred ODIs. Taylor has played 218 ODIs, which makes him the most experienced player in the squad, to be followed by Guptill at 169, then Williamson and Southee each at 139. 

The Kiwis have made six appearances in semi-finals, and one in finals, but have never lifted the coveted trophy. They were comprehensively defeated by Australia at their own turf in the finals of the previous edition, as the Kangaroos chased down their target of 184 with a little over 16 overs remaining.

New Zealand is expected to head to Australia in early May, to play three unofficial one-day games. The mega event will begin on May 30 and the Kiwis will start their campaign against Sri Lanka on June 1, but prior to that, they will play two warm-up fixtures against India and West Indies on May 25 and 28, respectively.

New Zealand’s 15-man World Cup 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

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