Mon, 16 Sep 2019

CWC 2019 team profile: New Zealand

News24
20 May 2019, 22:12 GMT+10

Cape Town - The 2019 Cricket World Cup gets under way on Thursday, May 30 when the Proteas take on England at The Oval in London.

With the squads all confirmed and the IPL now a thing of the past, attention will move swiftly to the World Cup and South Africa's efforts to finally taste success in a tournament that has haunted them for decades.

Sport24 will be bringing you all of the news you need to know before and during the showpiece.

We will be profiling all 10 of the sides competing, highlighting their chances at the competition and players to look out for.

2019 CWC team profile: AFGHANISTAN

2019 CWC team profile: AUSTRALIA

2019 CWC team profile: BANGLADESH

2019 CWC team profile: ENGLAND

2019 CWC team profile: INDIA

We'll be providing one team preview every day, moving along in alphabetical order.

Next up, we have New Zealand.

NEW ZEALAND

Overview

New Zealand are often considered dark horses at World Cups, and this year will be no different. They have one of the most respected batsmen in world cricket at their helm in Kane Williamson, while the fast bowling duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult is also considered one of the game's finest currently. On their day, New Zealand can beat anybody and there is no doubting the match-winning ability of their individual stars. They are always a side up to date with modern trends, and with the likes of Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro in their top order, they will back themselves to be one of the sides capable of making scores of 350 par in England.

New Zealand's Grant Elliott consoles Dale Steyn after 2015's semi-final win over the Proteas in Auckland (Getty).

Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

Coach: Gary Stead

Bookies prediction: 5th

Best WC finish: Runner-up - 2015

Batsman to watch

Ross Taylor is currently ranked as the world's 3rd best batsman in ODI cricket. One of the things that makes the 35-year-old so valuable, aside from his experience, is his flexibility. Taylor is likely to bat at No 4 for the Black Caps and he can change gears and play different roles depending on the match situation. If he needs to settle things down during a top order wobble, he is more than capable while he can also put the foot on the gas and move the game along rapidly if he needs to. Whether it is 20/2 of 200/2, Taylor is exactly the type of player New Zealand want in their middle order.

Ross Taylor (Getty).

Bowler to watch

Boult is undeniably New Zealand's chief destroyer. He is quick, dangerous and has an ability to move the ball both ways. Boult was at the IPL this year, but his opportunities were limited for the Delhi Capitals. While he expressed disappointment at his lack of game time during the tournament, that could actually work in New Zealand's favour given that he is well rested and desperate to bowl. Boult will receive able support from seamers Southee and Matt Henry, but how the likes of Colin de Grandhomme and spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi go will be key to New Zealand's cause.

Trent Boult (Getty).

Realistic expectation

New Zealand performed well above expectations in 2015, breaking South African hearts in the semi-finals, and they will believe they have the quality to repeat that performance. Reaching the semi-finals once again will be considered the absolute minimum for the Kiwis. It is a big ask given the format this year, but a large chunk of the 2019 squad was part of the class of 2015 that lost in the final to Australia, and that can only bode well.

Fixtures

June 1 v Sri Lanka (Cardiff)

June 5 v Bangladesh (The Oval)

June 8 v Afghanistan (Taunton)

June 13 v India (Nottingham)

June 19 v South Africa (Birmingham)

June 22 v West Indies (Manchester)

June 26 v Pakistan (Birmingham)

June 29 v Australia (Lord's)

July 3 v England (Chester-le-Street)

Twitter: @BLACKCAPS

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