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Cricket World Cup 2023: New Zealand

New Zealand have reached the last two Cricket World Cup finals but have come up short in both, losing to Australia in 2015 and then England four years later in one of the most dramatic one-day internationals in history.

The Black Caps have continually punched above their weight at major white-ball tournaments and are 15/2 to go one better than in 2015 and 2019 in this year's renewal.

New Zealand Cricket World Cup squad

Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.

New Zealand Cricket World Cup coach

Gary Stead was a seasoned top-order batsman on the New Zealand domestic scene, playing 101 first-class matches and scoring 4,984 runs for Canterbury.

Stead played five Test matches for New Zealand during his career, scoring 278 runs in eight innings for the Black Caps, with two fifties.

The 51-year-old turned to coaching after his retirement in 2006 and enjoyed success with Canterbury and the White Ferns, the New Zealand national women's team, before being appointed head coach of the Black Caps on a two-year deal in 2018.

Under Stead's guidance, the Black Caps reached the final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup and won the inaugural World Test Championship final in 2021.

New Zealand Cricket World Cup record

1975 Semi-finals
1979 Semi-finals
1983 Group stage
1987 Group stage
1992 Semi-finals
1996 Quarter-finals
1999 Semi-finals
2003 Super 6s
2007 Semi-finals
2011 Semi-finals
2015 Runners-up
2019 Runners-up

Possible XI

1. Devon Conway
2. Will Young
3. Kane Williamson
4. Daryl Mitchell
5. Tom Latham
6. Glenn Phillips
7. Rachin Ravindra
8. Mitchell Santner
9. Matt Henry
10. Trent Boult
11. Lockie Ferguson

Strengths

It is often said that you can't put a price on experience and New Zealand will certainly be hoping that is the case in this year's Cricket World Cup.

The Black Caps have named a largely settled and familiar 15-man squad for the upcoming tournament with seven members of the side who played in the 2019 World Cup final featuring among their number. 

Tim Southee, who like captain Kane Williamson will be appearing at his fourth Cricket World Cup, and Ish Sodhi were also part of the class of 2019 but didn't play in the epic Lord's final.

New Zealand will be typically well drilled in the field and a number of their star men, such as Trent Boult, captain Williamson and opener Devon Conway, are seasoned IPL performers, so have plenty of experience playing on Indian wickets.

There also looks to be a nice blend of power and poise in the Kiwis' batting unit with the classical style of Williamson augmented by the power-hitting of Conway, Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell, who has been in excellent form for some time now.

Weaknesses

If New Zealand are lacking in one area then it is definitely in the spin bowling department.

Mitchell Santner is a wily operator who has the benefit of being an IPL winner with the Chennai Super Kings this year, but 23-year-old slow left-armer Rachin Ravindra is still learning his craft and Ish Sodhi isn't a prolific wicket-taker.

If opposition batters can nullify seam triumvirate Boult, Southee and Matt Henry early, New Zealand's spinners will be under a lot of pressure to stem the tide.

There is also the fitness of captain Williamson to consider. 

So long the Black Caps' talisman, Williamson has not has not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in March, and it is unclear if he will be available for the opening few matches of New Zealand's campaign.

Key players

Kane Williamson

Black Caps captain Williamson has been for so long the glue that has held everything together for New Zealand.

A veteran of 161 one-day internationals, in which he has scored 6,554 runs at an average of 47.83, Williamson was named player of the tournament at the last World Cup in England.

Williamson made two match-winning centuries and an arguably even more important 67 in the semi-finals against India to guide the Black Caps to the final four years ago, and he also impressed with his tactical moves in the field.

Having played 77 matches in the IPL, as well as hundreds of international matches across all formats, Williamson's experince and class is unrivalled in the Kiwi ranks and New Zealanders everywhere will be desperate for him to be available for as much of the Black Caps' bid as possible after injury.

Trent Boult

Left-arm seamer Boult provides the X-factor in New Zealand's attack and will be crucial to their chances of going one better than four years ago.

Boult decided to give up Test cricket last year to spend more time with his family and focus on playing in the ever increasing number of T20 franchise leagues around the world.

And while his Test numbers were excellent - he took 317 wickets in 78 matches at just over 27 runs apiece - Boult's white-ball stats are even better with an ODI average of under 24 and T20 International average of a shade over 22.

Another seasoned IPL performer, Boult's prowess with the new ball at the death will be central to the Black Caps' hopes.

Devon Conway

Opener Devon Conway only began playing in the IPL In 2022 but he has already made quite the impact.

Conway has scored 924 runs in just 23 IPL matches for the Chennai Super Kings and has scored nine fifties in that time, including a best of 92 not out in this year's tournament.

The 32-year-old is something of a late bloomer having only made his international debut at the end of 2020, but he has fast become a mainstay at the top of the Kiwis' order.

Conway averages over 50 in both Test matches and ODIs and scored a fourth 50-over century in a win over England at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff recently.

Odds

To Win Outright - 15/2

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