BlackCaps coach Gary Stead has informed that the New Zealand squad to tour India this year for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which would take place in the October-November window, is likely to comprise 20 players.
Generally, teams equip themselves with 15 members for World Cup matches, but Stead said that due to the impact of COVID-19, which gives rise to unexpected events, New Zealand has decided to travel with 20 players to be on the safe side. The squad would include some uncapped players. He added that the number would maintain the balance in the team in any situation.
“The way Covid is at the moment and the way the world is changing so quickly, I’d probably expect there could be up to 20 people in the squad,” stuff.co.nz quoted Stead as saying.
“In some ways, that makes it easier getting the balance you want throughout and having your people who are next in line ready to go. I think it’s realistic to expect that there could be guys selected to go to the World Cup later in the year, who may not have played for New Zealand [in T20s].”
New Zealand’s T20 form has not been satisfactory considering their two T20I clashes that year against India and England. They got whitewashed by the former 5-0 and lost the series to England 3-2. However, they were in phenomenal form during their T20I series against Pakistan that concluded in January. New Zealand won the T20I series 2-1.
The results were similar during their T20I knockout against West Indies in November last year when the team won the T20I 2-1.
“The last two series versus Pakistan and West Indies, who were teams ranked higher than us, we’ve done well against those. We’ve played some good cricket,” Gary Stead added.
New Zealand is currently gearing up for their five-match T20I series against Australia, with the first match to roll out on February 22 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
“Australia are still a dangerous team. You could argue this is the form team of the Big Bash that’s over here right now. Yes, they may not have some of those names that we expect to see, but when you look through their lineup they’re still class right the way through.”
BlackCaps T20 squad against England: Kane Williamson (c), Tim Seifert (wk), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Martin Guptill (yet to be confirmed)