Rare opportunity lies ahead for the Blackcaps as they stand a chance to bag in 2nd ICC trophy in the span of 6 months, mid this year New Zealand won the inaugural World Test Championship title and will now aim to have their first ICC T20 trophy. Blackcaps have named a settled 15+1 man squad for the T20 World Cup that’s schedule in UAE in October-November.
With the T20 World Cup taking place in UAE teams are banking on spinners knowing what conditions to expect during the course of the tournament. So did New Zealand as they have named 3 frontline spinners in Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle. Mark Chapman too is a part of the Kiwi spin attack.
Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell are the two pace all-rounders named in the squad. No Colin de Grandhomme, so that’s a bit surprising as he’s been around the group for long, is an experienced contender and his style of bowling could have really been handy in the UAE conditions, his recent batting touch has been off colour and is probably the reason to his omission.
New Zealand’s strength has been their pace bowling and so it remains with Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Lockie Ferguson leading the Kiwi pace attack. Adam Milne too has made it to the squad, he’s added as an reserve player, he’ll join the squad in case of an injury.
Blackcaps have backed youngsters who have been playing with the squad for quite a while now as veterans Ross Taylor and Colin Munro miss to feature in the squad. Kane Williamson will lead the squad and will continue his role of a floater guiding and pacing New Zealand’s innings. Power striker, Martin Guptill will have a new opening partner in Tim Seifert or Devon Conway.
Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert and Glenn Phillips are the 5 batsmen named in the squad, the batting will remain an area of concern for the Kiwi’s. The all-rounders have to come good with the bat making contributions else batting horrors will see New Zealand out in group stage. Batting slightly remains on the weaker side but this is the best they can have on display.
Overall, a good 15+1 man squad with batting being the only concern, there are many all-rounders in the side hence a lot will depend on all-rounders and how they finish games. Spin and Pace, the bowling department has been New Zealand’s strength and remains with the quality and variety the Kiwi bowlers bring to the table.
New Zealand are placed in group 2, they face Pakistan on 26th of October to begin their campaign, next they meet India on the 31st of October, on 3rd and 5th of November they’ll take on B1 and A2 ( Round 1, group A and group B teams who will qualify for the super 12) and for their final group stage match Kiwi’s will meet Afghanistan on 7th of November.
New Zealand’s T20 World Cup squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).
New Zealand will fancy their chances to finish in the top 4 being placed in group 2 and also with a strong bowling attack as their strength going into the mega ICC tournament.