On Friday at the Basin Reserve that NZ cricket team to tour Australia will be announced in an understated way. This will be the first time we get a three test series over the ditch since the Ian Robinson series of 2001.
Given everyone had a crack at the All Blacks RWC squad it is probably time to follow suit. Assuming a squad of 15 is picked, it looks like 13 players are lock-ins; the final two no so much.
B McCullum ©
Corey (J) Anderson
The top five plus Watling pick themselves, and Anderson is the incumbent all-rounder. Likewise Craig, and those five quicks have all played for New Zealand in the last 12 months.
In a Utopian world Adam Milne would be unleashed on this tour, but it is a long time since he played long-term cricket; NZC will tread carefully there and think more long term.
So on to the final two. First of all; it is extremely unlikely there will be a bolter debutant. Secondly, it is unlikely that Ish Sodhi will play on an
Australian tour at this stage of his career. The remaining two slots will be filled by a reserve batsman and….
In order, the reserve batsmen should be Brownlie, H Rutherford and M Bracewell. Count out the last one down to the debutant rule. You may not be aware, but Dean Brownlie grew up playing cricket in Perth. A soundtrack to the tour awaits.
Then there is the all-rounder issue. Some may argue that Anderson and Neesham are too similar to have in the same squad. But the two have appeared in the same XI before and with some success.
Both of them have been known to be injury-prone and, if we’re in Dream Big mode, there is the option of playing both to preserve a series lead in Adelaide, as long as The Brand permits.
So the final two.
They’ll probably pick Ronchi though. Apparently there’s a Perth connection there too.