New Zealand’s T20 World Cup Preparation: Leveraging Experience in the Absence of Warm-ups

New Zealand is tapping into their players’ diverse experiences to gear up for the T20 World Cup campaign with nine squad members participating in the IPL and others engaged in the recent Pakistan T20I tour.

In the absence of formal warm-up matches, New Zealand is relying on their experience in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), their recent tour to Pakistan, and their mixed results in the IPL to make sure they are ready for their T20 World Cup campaign.

New Zealand’s T20 World Cup Preparation: Leveraging Experience in the Absence of Warm-ups

Although the ICC had offered warm-up matches, New Zealand decided against having them in favor of extra training sessions before their opening group match against Afghanistan on June 7. This was due to the logistical challenges of gathering the entire squad in the Caribbean, where they will arrive in three batches between May 23 and June 1, the latter being any players involved in the IPL finals.

“West Indies is a tough place to get to for a start, so it’s not easy to get everyone to Trinidad and Tobago at the same time,” Gary Stead, the team’s head coach, said. We don’t have any warm-up games. Many of the men have been playing in the Indian Premier League for the past two months, and we just returned from our tour of Pakistan.

“There’s a lot of experience in the group who have played in the CPL before, so we’ll be leaning on those guys and making sure the trainings we get prior to the first game puts us in a position of where we want to be.”

Devon Conway was injured and missed his time with the Chennai Super Kings, but he is still training with the team. Nine members of the squad participated in the five-match T20I tour of Pakistan.

But in India, key players’ amount of playing time has varied greatly: Mitchell Santner has played just twice for CSK, Matt Henry three times for Lucknow Super Giants, Lockie Ferguson five times for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, and captain Kane Williamson just twice for Gujarat Titans. Glenn Phillips, on the other hand, hasn’t played at all for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Trent Boult has been a consistent player for the Rajasthan Royals, while Daryl Mitchell has made 12 appearances for CSK and Rachin Ravindra nine. Only Mitchell, who has 314 runs with a strike rate of 144.70, has had a tournament that may be deemed somewhat successful with the bat. Ravindra faltered after a bright start, scoring only 161 runs at a strike rate of 176.08 and an average of 17.88. Boult has claimed 12 wickets at an economy rate of 8.42 while using the ball.

Also Read: New Zealand Clinches Historic Test World Championship Victory Over India (2019-21 Circle)

Finn Allen and Devon Conway’s Fitness Concerns

The first-choice starting duo for New Zealand, Conway and Finn Allen, haven’t played since February because of thumb and back ailments, respectively. Allen was still feeling a little sore, according to Stead, and he would be training harder during the team camp at Mount Maunganui.

When Conway gets back from India next week, the medical staff will evaluate him. Stead reported, “[He] is tracking nicely.” “He’s been wicketkeeping and batting in the nets on a regular basis.” Another player who hasn’t played a match since the end of the New Zealand season is Tim Southee, who was left off of the Pakistan trip in order to concentrate on his strength and conditioning.

New Zealand’s T20 World Cup Preparation: Leveraging Experience in the Absence of Warm-ups

But Stead continued to have faith in his ability to prepare for Afghanistan. “We’ve only got two players who haven’t been to a T20 World Cup that are in this squad,” he stated. “That shows our group is experienced and they can lean back on those past experiences.”

The athletes undergoing training in New Zealand have been utilizing an array of surfaces in an attempt to simulate the conditions that might exist in Guyana and Trinidad, the locations of their group matches. Based on usage frequency, Stead thought surfaces would initially be favorable to higher ratings before becoming fatigued.

Having been grouped with Afghanistan, whose spinners could love conditions, and hosting the West Indies implies that at least one of those three countries won’t advance, New Zealand appears to have one of the more difficult paths to the Super Eights on paper. In the first round, they also play Papua New Guinea and Uganda.

“Certainly looking forward to the challenge ahead and also the unknown of some of these new teams as well, the difference they might bring that we have to be really complete with our planning,” Stead stated.

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