Feb 5 (Reuters) - Penpix of the New Zealand squad for the cricket World Cup which they will co-host with Australia.
Brendon McCullum, 33. Top-order batsman. 240 matches. 5,480 runs. High score: 166. The former wicketkeeper shelved the gloves due to a back issue that has dogged him for more than five years. Exhilirating hitter with exceptional bat speed. Has floated up and down the order in recent years but will look to give the co-hosts a flying start as an opener. An inventive, aggressive captain and exceptional fielder who leads by example.
Martin Guptill, 28. Top-order batsman. 99 matches. 3,192 runs. High score: 189*. An aggressive pure-striking batsman, Guptill scored a century on debut in 2009 and has the ability to set the tournament alight, if he can rediscover his form. Problems outside offstump and with the short ball have been exploited, particularly by South Africa. Superb cover fielder and boundary rider with a strong arm.
Kane Williamson, 24. Top-order batsman. 65 matches. 2,452 runs. HS: 145*. The glue that will hold New Zealand’s batting together, Williamson was once considered too slow a scorer to be a threat in limited overs matches. However, he worked on his game and now has a career strike rate over 80 and average of 45. In the form of his life, having scored 753 runs in 11 matches at an average of 75.3 since December, he can also provide a few overs of off-spin if required.
Ross Taylor, 30, Top-order batsman. 150 matches. 4,913 runs. HS: 131*. An aggressive, exciting batsman, the controversy of his removal as captain two years ago appears behind him and the team. Taylor has matured in the past two years and has spent a lot of time trying to eradicate the slog-sweep to deep mid-wicket. Suffered a lean patch against Sri Lanka but came right at the end of the series and scored an unbeaten century against Pakistan on Feb. 3, indicating he could be finding form again.
Tom Latham, 22. Batsman/occasional wicketkeeper. 26 matches. 502 runs. HS: 86. A former front row forward at high school, where he became friends with 2014 World Rugby Player of the Year Brodie Retallick, he is the son of former New Zealand opener Rod Latham, who played in the 1992 World Cup. Establishing himself as a solid test opener, but will float up and down in the World Cup order. Technique and temperament probably better suited to open or number three than come in later and throw the bat at the ball.
Corey Anderson, 24. All-rounder. 26 matches. 687 runs. 36 wickets. HS: 131*. BB 5/63. Anderson was the youngest player to be offered a New Zealand first-class contract at 16. Built like a rugby loose forward, he briefly held the world record for the fastest one-day international century from 36 balls against West Indies in 2014, hammering 14 sixes in his 131 not out. Can be expensive at the bowling crease but has been more successful recently.
Grant Elliott, 35. All-rounder. 58 matches. 1,299 runs, 27 wickets. HS: 115. BB: 4-31. The surprise selection in the team after an absence of 14 months. The South African-raised right hander is calm and deliberate when batting, as shown in the recent Sri Lanka series as he kept the scoreboard ticking over while other players attacked. A canny medium pace bowler with well disguised slower deliveries and a solid fielder.
Luke Ronchi, 33. Wicketkeeper. 40 matches. 912 runs. 61 dismissals. HS: 170*. New Zealand-born, Australia raised, Ronchi played four one-day internationals for Australia in 2008 but moved back to his country of birth three years ago. A hard hitting and free flowing batsman he will close the innings for the team. Scored 170 not out in a world record sixth-wicket stand with Elliott in Dunedin in late January.
Daniel Vettori, 36. Left arm spin bowler/all-rounder. 286 matches. 2,203 runs. 290 wickets. HS: 83 BB: 5-7. Entering his fourth World Cup, the former captain battled Achilles injuries for more than two years and is expected to bow out afterwards. Widely considered as one of the best limited overs bowlers in the world, his variation of flight and pace compensate for a lack of turn. Primarily seen as tying up one end and building scoreboard pressure as McCullum uses his other bowlers to attack at the opposite end.
Nathan McCullum, 34. Off-spin bowler/all-rounder. 78 matches. 1,030 runs. 55 wickets. HS: 65 BB: 3-24. The elder brother of captain Brendon, he took over as the automatic choice as the team’s spinner after Vettori suffered injury. A tidy, compact bowler he extracts more turn than the left armer. Is also a better fielder and a handy, aggressive tail ender batsman who could prove to be an able ally for Ronchi and Elliott to finish innings.
Kyle Mills, 35. Fast medium bowler. 170 matches. 240 wickets. BB: 5-25. The warhorse of the team, he missed the 2007 World Cup through injury and was invalided out of the 2011 tournament. He suffered a groin strain against Pakistan in UAE and was sent home to recuperate but met a deadline to play in the recent Sri Lanka series. Extremely competitive, he has been involved in on field confrontations, particularly against South Africa. Good change of pace and movement off the seam. Once a handy tail end batter, that has fallen away over time.
Tim Southee, 26. Fast medium bowler. 85 matches. 116 wickets. BB: 5-33. The leader of the bowling attack, Southee has developed a world class test partnership with Boult. Generates a lot of swing at good pace and at times can be unplayable. Had a superb 2011 World Cup finishing with 18 wickets at 17.33. Also possesses a safe set of hands and can be a punishing batsman, noted for accelerating the innings rather than settling it down.
Adam Milne, 22. Fast bowler. 16 matches. 14 wickets. BB: 2-28. Comfortably New Zealand’s fastest bowler since Shane Bond at the turn of this century. Express pace over 150kph with thoughts he will get quicker. Suffered from side and back injuries as a teenager and his conditioning and workload has been carefully managed by the team.
Trent Boult, 25. Fast medium bowler. 16 matches. 18 wickets. BB: 4-44. The left arm swing bowler has been mostly overlooked for the limited overs teams after establishing himself as a test bowler. Can move the ball both ways in the air and off the pitch and has formed a strong new-ball partnership with Southee. A superb fielder as evidenced by several athletic catches at point or in the outfield.
Mitchell McClenaghan, 28. Medium fast bowler. 34 matches. 66 wickets. BB: 5-58. The aggressive left armer made an immediate impact with 4-20 off 10 overs against South Africa on debut. Became the second fastest man to 50 ODI wickets in 23 matches. Can be expensive but takes wickets in bunches and extracts surprising pace and bounce off a length on New Zealand pitches. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford)