New Zealand are currently third in the one-day rankings, behind England and India.
New Zealand opted for experience in a 15-man squad named Wednesday for this year’s cricket World Cup, with rookie Tom Blundell’s inclusion as back-up wicketkeeper the only real surprise. The Black Caps hope to shed their tag as valiant losers and claim the title after exiting in the semi-finals six times and suffering a heavy defeat to Australia in their only appearance in the final four years ago. New Zealand are currently third in the one-day rankings, behind England and India.
Coach Gary Stead said the Kane Williamson-led side had repeatedly excelled at the top level and he was confident the consistency would shine through at the tournament in England and Wales.
“We’ve got a squad here of 15 players that we think can give us a really, really good chance of going far into the tournament,” he said.
“If we play close to our potential, then hopefully we can do New Zealand proud.”
Wellington keeper Blundell was selected after Tim Siefert, the regular back-up to first-choice gloveman Tom Latham, broke his finger in a domestic match last month.
While Blundell, who has two Test caps, will likely make his one-day international debut at the tournament, his role will be marginal if Latham stays fit.