Black Caps keen to go one better at T20 World Cup - New Zealand team preview
Kane Williamson (c), Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Martin Guptill, Lachlan Ferguson, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Michael Bracewell, Trent Boult, Finn Allen.
Best finish at tournament
It was a case of so near, yet so far for Kane Williamson's side as New Zealand were beaten by their arch-rival Australia in last year's T20 World Cup Final in Dubai.
New Zealand had swept into the knockout stages with just one loss to their name and Daryl Mitchell was the hero in the semi-final against England with an unbeaten 72 to guide the Kiwis home.
It was a different story in the decider against the Aussies, with New Zealand's total of 172/4 chased down with more than an over to spare as Australia clinched their maiden T20 World Cup title.
Results in the last 10 T20I games
(most recent first) W W W L L W W W W W
22 October: v Australia
26 October: v Afghanistan
29 October: v Group A winner
1 November: v England
4 November: v Group B runner-up
v England - November 1
By the time the Kiwis' penultimate group match comes around, the semi-final picture is sure to be much clearer and this clash could prove pivotal for both side's chances of reaching the knockout stages.
England are ranked second on the current T20I team rankings and New Zealand will need to keep Jos Buttler and co quiet if they want to prevail in this one. England are sure to be out for revenge for their semi-final defeat to New Zealand at last year's T20 World Cup and all eyes will be on The Gabba to see which team can hold their nerve best.
Trent Boult - The left-arm pacer is more than capable of making early inroads with the new ball and this was evident at last year's edition as he helped himself to the most wickets (13) of any fast bowler at the event.
Boult can move the ball both ways in the air and has shown in the past his liking to the suitable conditions in Australia.
The Kiwis will once again be looking for Boult to make a couple of early breakthroughs as it allows their other bowlers to attack more during the middle overs.
What they say
"It's great to have this tournament so soon after last year's event in which we played some really good cricket, but couldn't quite get over the line at the end," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.
"With the nucleus of that squad retained... we should go into the tournament with plenty of optimism."
The Black Caps fell at the final hurdle last year when losing to Australia in the decider of the T20 World Cup in Dubai and will be keen to go that one step further this time around. New Zealand are currently ranked fifth in the world on the team MRF Tyres T20I team rankings, but recent form suggests they should be rated higher.
The Kiwis have lost just two T20Is this calendar year and their recent form at home in the tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh looks very solid.
Their top-order is built around the experience of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, while the likes of Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway continue to be underrated by opposition teams. Veteran duo Trent Boult and Tim Southee win much of the plaudits for a strong bowling attack, but speedster Lockie Ferguson and left-arm tweaker Mitchell Santner are just as important to the cause.
There are minor injury concerns surrounding the fitness of Mitchell, Ferguson and Adam Milne, but the Kiwis won't be far away at the business end of the tournament if they can get their best players on the park during the knockout stages of the event.
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