World Twenty20 team preview: New Zealand

Reports & previews

The Black Caps are always touted as the 'dark horses' of any ICC tournament, but this time there's nothing mysterious or 'underdog'-ish about them.

<b>Captain:</b> Brendon McCullum<br><b>Coach:</b> Mike Hesson<br><b>WT20 Best:</b> Losing semi-finalists, 2007

<b>Overview</b><br>The Black Caps are always touted as the 'dark horses' of any ICC tournament, but this time there's nothing mysterious or 'underdog'-ish about them. They won their recent T20s against the West Indies convincingly, and their overall form in recent matches has been impressive.

Their top order batsmen, particularly Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson are in cracking form in all formats, while Corey Anderson is the flavour of 2014 in terms of all-rounders. Winning the tournament will not be a shock.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>Well, obviously! It's Ross Taylor. The man scored two tons and two fifties in the five ODIs against India, in January, and is likely seeing it like a beach ball. He walked away with four NZC awards recently, and will be key if the openers fail.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>All fast bowlers called Mitchell are in the thick of it tight now, and McClenaghan is no exception. He has pace, bounce, and is very good in the death overs. There's a reason he won the Kiwis' T20 Player of the Year gong.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>Tricky. Anton Devcich has yet to make his T20 debut, and will probably get it against whichever side qualifies into the group.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction</b><br>Semi-finals, after losing to Sri Lanka in the group stages but beating the other two.

<b>They Said:</b> "Anton gives us both top- and middle-order batting options as well as spin. He performed well on the tour to Bangladesh and the New Zealand A tour to India and Sri Lanka before that. And Ronnie is an experienced Twenty20 spin bowler." – general manager of national selection <b>Bruce Edgar</b>.

<b>Squad:</b> Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Anton Devcich, Trent Boult, Ronnie Hira.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>22 March: v England, Chittagong<br>24 March: v South Africa, Chittagong<br>29 March: v qualifying team, Chittagong<br>31 March: v Sri Lanka, Chittagong

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