Friday 7 September 2012 

ICC World Twenty20 2012 Preview - New Zealand

ICC World T20 2012 Preview - New Zealand
ICC World T20 2012 Preview - New Zealand
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

For a team with some of the biggest hitters in the game and one of the most economical spinners, it is perhaps surprising that New Zealand have made little impact on the ICC World Twenty20 since reaching the semi-finals in 2007.

Daniel Vettori has come out of limited overs international retirement for this tournament and his experience and skill will give the Black Caps a huge boost - he concedes just 5.36 runs per over and his control will put Pakistan and Bangladesh under pressure in a tough group.

Experience runs through the squad with Jacob Oram, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum among the more recognised players expected to deliver when it matters for the 2011 World Cup semi-finalists.

McCullum is one of only seven men to have scored a Twenty20 International century and no player has more runs in the format than he does.

When McCullum, Taylor , Oram and Vettori were absent for a variety of reasons in the West Indies, they were twice thumped by the home side as once again their strength in depth came into question.

If their main men can stay fit, and the likes of Martin Guptill and Tim Southee can make telling contributions, they may be an outside bet to reach the semi-finals.

First, though, they will need to negotiate a difficult group. Pakistan's Twenty20 pedigree needs little introduction and in 2009, Umar Gul ripped through New Zealand, taking five for six in a one-sided Super Eight match. They were also the victors when the two sides met in the 2007 semi-final.

Bangladesh beat New Zealand 4-0 in a One-Day International series in 2010 so there is no way the Black Caps will be taking that encounter lightly.

Youngsters Doug Bracewell, Adam Milne and Ronnie Hira may bring the 'x-factor' that New Zealand need to make the step up from also-rans to genuine contenders but they could just as easily struggle in Sri Lankan conditions.

Recent Form

2012 - WWWLLLL

11th February: beat Zimbabwe by 7 wickets in Auckland
14th February: beat Zimbabwe by 5 wickets in Hamilton
17th February: beat South Africa by 6 wickets in Wellington
19th February: lost to South Africa by 8 wickets in Hamilton
22nd February: lost to South Africa by 3 runs in Auckland
30th June: lost to West Indies by 56 runs in Lauderhill
1st July: lost to West Indies by 61 runs in Lauderhill
11th September: beat India by 1 run in Chennai

Previous Tournament Performances

2007 - Semi-Finals: beaten by 6 wickets by eventual runners-up Pakistan
2009 - Super Eights: only beating Ireland in the second phase
2010 - Super Eights: losses to England and South Africa put them out although they did manage to beat Pakistan at last

2012 Fixtures

21st September v Bangladesh in Pallekele
23rd September v Pakistan in Pallekele

Squad

Ross Taylor (captain), Doug Bracewell, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Brendon McCullum (wicket-keeper), Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling (wicket-keeper), Kane Williamson

John Pennington

© Cricket World 2012

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