Champions Trophy New Zealand preview: Can Blackcaps spring a surprise with its all-round strength

Updated On : 31 May , 2017 , 08:00 PM
New Zealand national cricket team players pose for a photo. (File)
New Zealand national cricket team players pose for a photo. (File)
New Delhi:

Former ICC Champions Trophy title holders New Zealand will look to spring a surprise by winning the tournament once again with a good mix of players. The Blackcaps were the second-ever winners of the coveted trophy when they defeated India in the 2000 final. The team had also finished as runners-up in 2009 and featured as semi-finalists in 2006.

This time around, the Blackcaps are heading to England ranked 4th in the MRF Tyres ODI rankings with a squad that has the batting power and the bowling variations to prevail in a potentially high-scoring tournament.

According to a report in blackcaps.co.nz, the squad for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy tournament features five specialist batsmen, four pace bowlers, three seam-bowling all-rounders, two-spinners and a wicket-keeper.

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IPL trio

Team's prospects have also boosted with the return of Mitchell McClenaghan, Corey Anderson and Adam Milne.

The trio has been named in the 15-man squad for England following months of rehabilitation, and after demonstrating their fitness with their respective Indian Premier League sides.

In the IPL, McClenaghan played for champions Mumbai Indians; Milne with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, and all-rounder Anderson featured in the Delhi Daredevils squad.

Read | Champions Trophy: India beat New Zealand in warm-up game by 45 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method

The Black Caps have one of the most potent pace attack comprising Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Adam Milne. The trio can exploit the English conditions.

New Zealand, who have an impressive Champions Trophy record, are in a group with Australia, Bangladesh and England.

Some Blackcaps have also had the luxury of playing an ODI tri-series in Ireland ahead of the tournament, a feat, that will certainly helped some of the players acclimatise with the English conditions to some extent.


Key players

Kane Willamson (Captain, batsman)

The stylish batsman is at centre of Blackcaps' strategy in the tournament due to his batting exploits and leadership skills. The all-weather batsman has proved his mettle on all sorts of turfs in international cricket. His considerably brave style of play is something what his team needs in big tournaments. The New Zealand captain is ranked 9th in the ICC ODI batsmen list. The lanky player has a knack to change gears quickly according to situations. 

Read | Tri-Nation Series: New Zealand defeats Bangladesh by four wickets in third ODI


Corey Anderson (All-rounder)

The well-built all-rounder is exactly what New Zealand need in English conditions. Anderson has a knack to score quick runs with power-packed shots. He is equally good as a mediam-fast bowler and will prove a vital cog for the team.  

Martin Guptil

Currently ranked 7th in the ICC ODI batsmen list, Guptil is capable of providing good starts, which will be vital to New Zealand’s success. His performance in the Indian Premier League side Kings XI Punjab will come handy for the team. 

Read | 2017 ICC Champions Trophy: India, Australia hot favourites to win tournament

Ross Taylor (batsman)

The seasoned cricketer has the crucial experience of big tournaments. Once labelled as the brightest Kiwi talent, Taylor has pulled his team out from difficult situations many times. Currently ranked 16th in the ICC ODI batsmen list, the former captain will look to add another feather on his cap.

The team has all the ingredients to for a success recipe. Skipper Williamson has to keep his house in order to clear the barrier of group stage. The team has the potential to reach the finals.  

Fixtures:

New Zealand are positioned in Group A. Their opening game will be against Australia followed by clashes against host England and Bangladesh.

2nd June v Australia at Edgbaston

6th June v England at Sophia Gardens

9th June v v Bangladesh at Sophia Gardens

Squad

Kane Williamson (c)
Corey Anderson
Trent Boult
Neil Broom
Colin de Grandhomme
Martin Guptill
Tom Latham
Mitchell McClenaghan
Adam Milne
Jimmy Neesham
Jeetan Patel
Luke Ronchi
Mitchell Santner
Tim Southee
Ross Taylor

ODI ranking: 4

ODI 2016-17: Matches 24, Won 14, Lost 10 (since Jan 2016)

Champions Trophy: Matches 21, Won 12, Lost 8

First Published : Wednesday, May 31, 2017 05:49 PM
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