@Aadya_Wisden 5 minute read
Only twice in six editions have New Zealand reached the semi-finals, but they are currently ranked third in the ICC’s T20I rankings. They have also picked up momentum in the lead-up to the World Cup, having won their last four bilateral T20I series.
Aadya Sharma has a look at the takeaways from New Zealand’s squad announcement.
End of the road for Colin Munro?
The world’s top-ranked T20I batsman back in 2018, Munro is looking at an uncertain future with New Zealand. Munro admitted he felt “gutted” to not be part of the squad, having opted out of tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh which precede the World Cup. In his absence over the last, newer batting options have stepped up (especially the trio of Devon Conway, Tim Seifert and Glenn Phillips).
Spin to win
With spin expected to play a crucial role, New Zealand have stacked their squad with ample slow-bowling options. To start with, they have Ish Sodhi, their joint-highest wicket-taker in the 2016 edition (10 wickets @ 12.00), combining with Todd Astle, another leggie. Mitchell Santner adds valuable left-arm spin to the arsenal, along with Mark Chapman. Both Sodhi and Santner are currently in the ICC top-10 rankings for T20I bowlers.
In the last T20 World Cup, New Zealand did not need either Trent Boult or Tim Southee – is the trend (at least partly) going to be followed this time too?
What’s next for Taylor, de Grandhomme?
Ross Taylor, who has played all six T20 World Cups so far, wasn’t included in the squad this time, casting doubts over his future in the format. The last of Taylor’s 102 T20Is came last year, and he has opted out of the ODI series against Pakistan this September, with his eyes on the India Test tour later this year.
De Grandhomme, who hasn’t played a T20I in 17 months, saw Daryl Mitchell pip him to the all-rounder’s spot. It’s not the end of the road for him, though, as he has been included for the T20Is against Bangladesh and Pakistan, but he might not be part of their long-term T20I plans.
Allen and Milne – the unlucky ones?
Finn Allen, who has a strike rate of 173.33 from 35 T20s, and was the leading run-getter in the 2020/21 Super Smash did not make the cut, having debuted in T20Is only earlier this year. With enough top order options available, it would have been difficult to sneak Allen in.
Adam Milne did not make it to the main squad but was added as the 16th man who can only come in as an injury replacement. With the pace attack restricted to a group of four, Milne’s inclusion wasn’t easy, but his recent form merits a shot at the World Cup. He has been the standout quick in The Hundred’s group stage and is currently Birmingham Phoenix’s top wicket-taker with eight scalps at 12.12.
New Zealand’s final 15-man squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Todd Astle, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi
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