2019 Cricket World Cup Preview: New  Zealand 

2019 Cricket World Cup Preview: New  Zealand 

Can the Black Caps avenge their World Cup final defeat from four years ago? 

matt-rennie
Matt Rennie

Squad list

Kane Williamson (capt), 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. 

Despite delivering just one success in major ICC tournaments, New Zealand have defied their underdog status in various World Cup's. The kiwi's had reached six semi-finals before suffering heartbreak against their trans-tasman rivals, Australia, in the 2015 World Cup Final. Could this year finally yield a World Cup success for the Black Caps? 

Kane Williamson's side head into the tournament after suffering a mixed bag of results. They suffered a comprehensive ODI series defeat on home soil to India, before making amends against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh respectively earlier this year. 

Their warm-up matches have been much of the same story, thrashing India before being embarassed by West Indies, who scored 421 against their typically strong bowling attack. 

However, the side includes many enigmas and superstars, and if they can get their campaign underway with a convincing victory over Sri Lanka, New Zealand could step up and be noticed as genuine World Cup candidates. 

Gun Batsman - Ross Taylor 

While Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill have worthy cases, it is New Zealand's veteran who should be feared the most. 

Taylor currently sits third in the ICC ODI Batsman rankings, and averages an impressive 48 from 218 50 over matches for his country. Along with Williamson, Taylor is undoubtedly the rock in New Zealand's batting order. 

While he is known for his aggressive batting, Taylor is one of a handful of world-class batsmen who can rein it in if his team are under pressure. It would not be a shock if many of New Zealand's innings will be built around the longevity of Taylor at the crease. 

The 35-year-old wasted no time in acclimatising to English conditions, blasting a half-century on his debut for Middlesex in the One-Day Cup as well as scoring 71 in New Zealand's warm-up match demolition of India. 

New Zealand will be hoping he takes his 2019 form into the World Cup, especially with their other, more eccentric, batsmen in the line-up. If the 35-year-old fires, expect some high scores from the Kiwi's. 

Bowling supremo - Trent Boult 

In typical English swinging conditions, Boult could be a dangerous weapon in New Zealand's artillery. 

The 29-year-old continues to be one of the most feared bowlers in the 50 over format, and sits second in the world rankings behind India's Jaspirit Bumrah. 

Boult has taken 147 wickets in 79 ODI matches, averaging 24.7, and has shown no let up in form before the World Cup. 

The left-armer had India in a tangle during their warm up match, taking 4/33 including the scalps of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. 

He made the ball swing in conditions when it shouldn't have done, and if the weather becomes typically English, then Boult may cause serious damage to any opposition's batting order. 

Star Man - Martin Guptill 

While this accolade could've easily belonged to Kane Williamson, Guptill is a one-of-a-kind talent.

The opener is one of the most destructive batsmen, and holds the highest ever World Cup score in history, scoring 237 not out against West Indies in 2015. 

While Guptill's form dipped in the IPL, he'll be looking to reproduce his winter form, which saw him register back-to-back centuries against Bangladesh. 

There's no middle ground with Guptill, he either delivers or fails, but he single-handedly turns games on their head. Every team will be fearful of just what the world's tenth-best ODI batsman can do to them. 

One to watch - Colin Munro 

Despite having some indifferent form in the 50 over format, this year's World Cup could be the final chance for Munro to showcase his talent. 

The 32-year-old is one of the most destructive batsman in the Twenty20 sphere, and sits second in the world rankings in the shortest format. 

Munro has the second-fastest half-century in history, as well as becoming the first batsman to hit three T20 centuries, but has found himself in and out of the ODI side. 

His selection may have come as a surprise to many, but Munro has the chance to prove he isn't a one-dimensional batsman, and the Black Caps will be hoping he can replicate his T20 form this summer. 

 

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