Who will be there to bring it home next time?

Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith. Photo: Getty Images
Will Young
Will Young. Photo: Getty Images
Lockie Ferguson
Lockie Ferguson. Photo: Getty Images
Henry Nicholls
Henry Nicholls. Photo: Getty Images

As the curtain comes down on the World Cup and the heartache subsides, if only by a small margin, one has to start looking ahead. Sports editor Steve Hepburn looks into the crystal ball and how the Black Caps will look in four years’ time.

Maybe it will be third time lucky for the Black Caps when India hosts the World Cup in 2023.

The New Zealand side has come up short in the past couple of finals so it is there or thereabouts.

But winning in India is going to be very tough.

The Indian side has a daunting record at home and given its deep pockets and massive playing depth, it is a formidable opponent in front of its own fans.

But New Zealand will be there and be a decent chance along with the other usual suspects.

So who is going to make it to wear the Black Caps strip out of the 15 players who made the squad for the tournament in England?

Locks

Kane Williamson - will still only be 32 when the next tournament rolls around and, if anything, could get even better. Trent Boult - about the same age as Williamson and with his economical run-up and even temperament should be there. Mitch Santner - a hard guy to warm to for many but every side in the one-day format needs a spinner and Santner is as good an anyone. Excellent in the field too.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. Photo: Getty Images

 

Probables

Lockie Ferguson - made a lot of progress in the past year and played above himself in the World Cup. Now has his chance and the way he is bowling, hard to see him fading away. Action always susceptible to injury. Henry Nicholls - did not have a great World Cup but being a left-hander helps and he is a class player. Got to have a Canterbury player in there. Matt Henry - made a lot of progress and has gone past Tim Southee, a key wicket-taker and still young. Jimmy Neesham - outstanding effort from the Otago discard. played well with both bat and ball, offers plenty to the side and benefited from the demise of Corey Anderson.

Maybes

Martin Guptill - perhaps he can continue for four more years but clock is ticking and he needs to start scoring, mental challenge of overcoming the failure at World Cup may scar for some time, will be 36. Ross Taylor - can he carry on for four more years? still class but will blow out 39 candles in 2023. Tom Latham - did not have a great tournament except for the final, will he go down the test route or try to stay in short form game? Still young enough. Colin de Grandhomme - not getting any younger, although economical bowling action will not harm him, may be easy to discard. Ish Sodhi - still young and liked by too many observers to be thrown to the wolves, will try hard to nudge Santner out. Tom Blundell - never got a chance and has talent, maybe a square peg in a round hole.

Heading for departure lounge

Colin Munro - given more second chances than a blundering Labour Cabinet minister, surely his time is up. Tim Southee - time marches on and one-day format no longer looks his game.

Up and comers

Will Young - the next big thing - apparently. Dean Foxcroft - plenty to like about the new Otago man; Devon Conway - scored a truckload of runs in first-class cricket but does that mean anything any more? Blair Tickner - threatening bowler, worth a look. Nathan Smith - Waitaki's finest has talent, we need to get an Otago presence in the squad. Finn Allen - young Aucklander who can hit a ball.

 

Comments

In all the furore over overthrows, Santner seems to have escaped criticism of his 'remarkable' batting (non-)effort, which in another arena would have seen him court-martialed for failing to engage the enemy.

 

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