World Cup Team Previews - New Zealand, South Africa

World Cup Team Previews - New Zealand, South Africa

Article Posted on 17 October, 2023

New Zealand will be pinning a lot of their hopes on the veterans Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and Tim Southee to make the upcoming World Cup memorable one and give New Zealand a chance of lifting the title for the first time.

New Zealand had come extremely close to a title win four years back but missed out on boundary count after two Super Overs couldn’t produce any results.

The senior trio of New Zealand will be most likely having their last shot at the tournament since the next event will be played in 2027.

The duo of Williamson and Southee will miss the opening match against New Zealand on October 5 as they continue to recover from their respective injuries. Williamson had shown impressive signs in a warm-up match against Pakistan with a half-century.

"It was great to see Kane out there, albeit only with the bat today. He didn't feel it at all," head coach Gary Stead said after the match in Hyderabad.

"Pretty warming from a team perspective that we know he's pretty close to getting back to full fitness."

New Zealand also had to deal with the absence of spin-bowling all-rounder Michael Bracewell in their squad, which meant the likes of Rachin Ravindra and James Neesham were brought into the side to fill the void.

"We've shown in the last month or so that we can beat England, which is one of the best teams in the world," said the New Zealand head coach.

"You don't have to beat them every day, you just have to beat them on certain days."

New Zealand 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.

South Africa

South Africa have been given the title of chokers since they haven’t been able to get through the line in previous editions of the World Cup but they will look to change it around this time.

South Africa have some impressive players in their ranks who can win matches single handedly, but it remains to be seen whether they can play well as a unit or not.

They were handed a shock loss against Netherlands in the last year’s edition of the T20 World Cup, and that remains heavy on the group of players.

"We’ve been challenging each other to make sure that awareness is there and we’re not taking things for granted," Bavuma told reporters. "But we’ve also needed to find actual, practical ways as to what we need to do to keep that awareness up and ensure that our eye is on the ball, and we try stay in the present moment as much as we can."

In players like David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock, South Africa have some of the most elite ball strikers while Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj are two veteran spinners.

South Africa will undoubtedly miss the express pace of Anrich Nortje, who was ruled out of the tournament with an injury.

"The biggest thing with Anrich is the experience and his leadership within the team. That leadership part isn't easily replaced," Bavuma said.

"If we do decide to still go (with pace), Gerald (Coetzee) can do that role. He doesn't have Anrich's experience, but he will only get that by playing,” he added.

South Africa squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.


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