Black Caps CWC Squad Prediction
So after the SL series it looks like we’re in pretty good heart and one or two questions have been answered but others have also been posed. Fitness concerns around past squad members also cloud the issue.
Certainties are Guptill, Williamson, Taylor, Santner, Southee and Boult. Highly likely for mine are Nicholls, Neesham, Sodhi and Henry. There are question marks over Guptills’ opening partner, wicketkeeping, the possible inclusion of another allrounder, and pace bowling options.
Additionally, will Adam Milne ever come back? Will Corey Anderson ever bowl again?
Personally, I’d have Latham opening with Guppy. Munro is explosive but averages just 26 and hasn’t managed a century in 46 odd games. Latham averages 33 with 4 centuries. Sure, he’s simply steady, but his numbers stack up and having your 'keeper in the top five opens up options down the order for more hitting power.
He’d be joined by Guppy with Kane at first-drop and Rosco at 4. Nicholls has done enough to sew up the number 5 spot now. Neesham at 6 is probably now also a given. His batting ability was probably never really in doubt but he was also handy with the ball and certainly good enough to share ten overs with others.
With five positions still available in this line-up there’s room for another genuine all-rounder (de Grandhomme has this spot unless Anderson can deliver some overs and proves it over the next few weeks), a spinner (Sodhi or Santner) and three quicks. Or alternatively both spinners with Santner precariously considered an all-rounder, but for me he’s a bowler who bats a bit and playing he and Sodhi together gives us too much of a tail.
The quicks would be three of Boult, Southee, Henry and Ferguson, unless Milne can get back in which case he’s a like-for-like swap for Ferguson in terms of pace and point of difference, but Milne also offers a bit with the bat.
A back-up 'keeper is required and Seifert has the inside running on this spot. With only five batsmen and one of them is the first-choice 'keeper, there’s room (and a requirement really) for another batsman which comes down to Munro or Worker. Munro could open or be used down the order as a hitter/closer as well so I’d persevere unless someone else gets and takes their chance in the India series.
So my squad: