BLACKCAPS ICC Cricket World Cup Squad
Brendon McCullum (captain) – Otago Volts
Corey Anderson – Northern Knights
Trent Boult – Northern Knights
Grant Elliott – Wellington Firebirds
Martin Guptill – Auckland Aces
Tom Latham – Canterbury
Mitchell McClenaghan – Auckland Aces
Nathan McCullum – Otago Volts
Kyle Mills – Auckland Aces
Adam Milne – Central Stags
Luke Ronchi – Wellington Firebirds
Tim Southee – Northern Knights
Ross Taylor – Central Stags
Dan Vettori – Northern Knights
Kane Williamson – Northern Knights
Hesson said that it was all about finding the right balance.
“There were some hard decisions to make, but we’re pleased with the overall 15 we’ve chosen,” said Hesson.
“A lot of bowlers have performed brilliantly for us over the past couple of seasons, which certainly made it difficult, but we think we have the right mix.
“Our batting unit has good depth and Grant’s inclusion assures us strong cover in the middle order. He brings a lot of experience and his record in New Zealand and Australia conditions is excellent.
So there you have it. Henry was the quick to miss out, and Elliott is in for Jimmy Neesham from the squad most people predicted. The Elliott / Neesham switch is not a direct swap, and it is reassuring to see Hesson’s comments above that Elliott is picked for his batting alone.
There will inevitably be outrage about Elliott’s inclusion. His last game for New Zealand was in November 2013, in a match where NZ was 26/5 at one stage.
However he is an experienced campaigner. He can nurdle it around from #5, has a strong finishing game and tends to lift his performance on the big occasion. He is one of three players 35 years old or more. ODI cricket is not always a young man’s game.
With Brendon McCullum’s elevation to opener there was a need for his experience in the middle order. In a strange way he has become the replacement for Jesse Ryder
Latham also fills the back-up keeper role; a position held by Jamie How at the last World Cup.
Hesson has made it clear that rotation will be used, and that no player will be involved in all 11 build-up matches. So we will see a fair amount of tinkering with the bowling combinations. At first glance it would appear that Boult and Mills will be competing for the same slot; a lengthy spell at the start of the innings and a second spell in the batting Power Play.
Similarly McClenaghan and Milne would also seem to be going head-to-head. Despite their pace neither have been used extensively opening the bowlers; they are there to keep the pressure on in the middle overs and to be used at The Death.
There will be firther twists and turns during the 11 warm-up matches, and the battle between the spin bowlers will also be interesting. If Nathan McCullum can carry his domestic form through to this level that will change the team’s complexion as well.
Henry is unlucky. In New Zealand’s last ODI, less than a month ago he put in a match winning performance and took a bag of five wickets. His domestic form on return has not been to that standard, and it would appear that cost him when the final cut was mode. This is by no means the end for him; you could argue this World Cup came around one year too early
What it does show is the depth in New Zealand cricket at the moment. Remember when Carl Bulfin went to the 1999 World Cup