World Cup

New Zealand announces 15 member team for the World Cup

New Zealand opted for the experience in a squad of 15 men named on Wednesday for this year’s cricket world cup, with the inclusion of rookie Tom Blundell as reserve guardian as the only real surprise.

The Blacks Caps hope to get rid of their brand as brave losers and claim the title after they have gone out in the semifinals six times and suffered a heavy defeat to Australia in their only appearance in the last four years.

Coach Gary Stead said that the Black Caps led by Kane Williamson had repeatedly demonstrated themselves at the top level and hoped that the consistency would shine in the tournament in England and Wales.

“We have a team of 15 players that we think can give us a very good chance to get away in the tournament,” he said.

“If we play close to our potential, then we can make New Zealand proud.”

Wellington goalkeeper Blundell was selected after Tim Siefert, the regular substitute for Prime Minister Tom Latham, broke a finger in a national game last month.

While Blundell, who has two test caps, will probably make his international debut of a day in the tournament, his role will be marginal if Latham stays in shape.

Mitchell Santner will be the main New Zealand spinner, with Ish Sodhi beating Todd Astle to claim the second slow bowling position.

The rhythm attack includes Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry, while Jimmy Neesham and Colin of Grandhomme add full options.

Henry Nicholls is ready to open the batting with veteran Martin Guptill after displacing Colin Munro at the top of the order, although Munro will make the trip as hitting coverage.

Williamson and Ross Taylor, in their fourth World Cup campaign, complete a battle-hardened batting lineup.

Williamson, Taylor and Guptill have collectively accumulated 526 ODI appearances among them.

Guptill and Taylor have not confirmed their post-tournament plans, but they are more likely to seek out the bigger cricket stage.

The Black Caps will open their campaign against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on June 1.

New Zealand Squad 

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

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