World T20 2016 Preview: Will New Zealand's lack of spin halt them in Asia?

The Kiwis have a team full of exciting players and will fancy their chances in India this year.

World T20 2016 Preview: Will New Zealand's lack of spin halt them in Asia?
Will Kane Williamson be celebrating at the end of the tournament? (Photo: vavel)

New Zealand will be hoping to bring the form of the 2015 ICC World Cup to this year's T20 competition. The Kiwis were eventual runners-up in the tournament, but will be looking to go a step further in the shortened version of the game.

An explosive top order will entertain the fans

A blend of youth and experience is led by the explosive Kane Williamson, who averages 36.69 with the bat and was the team's highest run scorer back in 2014. The captain goes into the tournament with an excellent run of from, scoring a record equalling 20+ runs in his last ten consecutive T20 matches.

Opener Martin Guptill is capable of getting the New Zealand team off to a flyer, holding a T20 century to his name and previously owning the national record for the fastest half century before teammate Colin Munro beat it later in the same innings against Sri Lanka. The left handed Munro scored that 50 off just 14 balls, the second fastest in T20 history. He holds the domestic record for most sixes in a first class match with 23 in one game for Auckland and was also the top scorer in the domestic T20 league this season.

The experienced Ross Taylor is always capable of adding to the total, averaging 24.27, but will be desperate to break past the mid-60s, a score he has reached on four occasions. Wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi provides a safe pair of hands behind the stumps and also likes to chip in with some runs down the order, averaging just over 22. With five half centuries from just 18 domestic T20 matches, Henry Nicholls provides an excellent extra option to an extremely talented batting line-up.

Corey Anderson is another player capable of making quick runs, with a strike rate of over 144, as Pakistan know only too well from his 82 off 42 balls back in January. Anderson is also capable of picking up the odd wicket during the middle overs with his accurate medium pacers. Grant Elliott is recognised as a master of both batting and bowling, but it is with the ball where he has impressed recently. Already this year he has picked up figures of 4-22 and 3-7 against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Corey Anderson will be hoping to make a big contribution (photo: getty)
Corey Anderson will be hoping to make a big contribution (photo: getty)

Trent Boult leads an exciting bowling attack

The Kiwis also boast the number one ranked bowler in the world in Trent Boult, who has claimed 15 wickets at an average of 21.73 in T20 matches. The fast bowler also topped the bowling charts in last years World Cup with 22 wickets.

Mitchell McClenaghan supports Boult nicely and was the joint leading wicket taker in the New Zealand T20 competition. He also became the fastest Kiwi player to reach 50 ODI wickets after just 23 matches. The experienced Nathan McCullum will provide economical value, possessing a record of just 6.90, perfect for those crucial middle overs. 23 year old Adam Milne could be pushing for a start after picking up eight wickets in three matches against Pakistan and expect fireworks if he does as Milne registered the fastest delivery of ICC World Cup 2015.

Mitchell Santner burst onto the T20 scene last summer with three wickets in his first three matches. He holds an impressive average of 14.57 at just 6.37 runs per over and will also be pushing for a start. Ish Sodhi makes up the numbers with an average of 21 from his first five T20 matches and should not be underestimated if he makes an appearance. The likes of Milne, Santner and Sodhi will learn plenty from the experienced Tim Southee who has 46 wickets from 38 T20 games. He also holds the national record for best ODI bowling figures with 7-33 against England last year.

New Zealand are always lingering around the final stages and should be close again this year. They have an explosive batting line-up, supported by a fruitful bowling attack, but their weakness may come from a lack of spin options on the turning Indian pitches.