ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Canada v New Zealand, World Cup 2011, Group A, Mumbai
New Zealand confident despite Vettori absence
March 12, 2011
Match FactsMarch 13, Mumbai
Start time 9.30am (0400 GMT)
The Big Picture
There are formalities, then there's the major Test nations qualifying for the quarter-finals from Group A. While the numbers are crunched in the other side of the tournament there is precious little nail-biting going on in this group. New Zealand could have had a few difficult moments in progressing given their poor form heading into the World Cup, but they already stand on six points after the impressive victory over Pakistan.
This match against Canada shouldn't cause them to lose much sleep even though their captain Daniel Vettori will be missing with a knee injury. His absence for one match is a minor problem compared to him being ruled out of the tournament which was a concern when he went down in the field against Pakistan. It was important for New Zealand to dispatch a leading team in the qualification to build confidence and there were many positive signs, from Ross Taylor's powerful century to the incisive new-ball bowling. As has often been said, New Zealand raise their game in World Cups.
Still, there are issues within the team - mainly in the consistency of the top order. Taylor's innings was magnificent, albeit against awful bowling, but it can't be one-off for New Zealand. They also need more from Jamie How, Scott Styris and James Franklin to spread the workload.
To be fair to Canada they have had their moments this tournament and New Zealand need to show them respect. Their new-ball attack of Henry Osinde and Harvir Baidwan can create problems with early movement; Baidwan was mighty impressive Pakistan. Rizwan Cheema has promised more than he has delivered, but Canada's middle order was calm in their successful chase against Kenya. In this match, though, coming out with respectability should be considered a success.
(completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand: WWLWW
Watch out for...
Nathan McCullum has quietly developed in a very useful player for New Zealand, both with his offspin and lower-order batting. In the absence of Vettori he'll have a senior role to play in the bowling attack, which will be valuable practice in case he is needed at important stages later in the tournament. The team will hope his batting down the list isn't required to provide too much, but he showed with his effort against Australia that he can build an innings and his striking power can also add the finishing touches in the closing overs.
Hanvir Baidwan has been consistent during the tournament with nine wickets at 20.22 and an economy rate of just over five-an-over. He caught Pakistan by surprise with three scalps and also took two against Kenya to help set up victory. New Zealand's top order is an inconsistent beast and it'll need to be careful not to take Baidwan lightly especially if there is any movement early on.
Having won the basement battle against fellow Associates Kenya there seems little reason for Canada to change a winning side. John Davison returned for that match, but in the middle order, and he'll be keen to produce a performance before the tournament is finished at the expense of a team he has a good record against.
Canada (probable) 1 Ruvindu Gunasekera, 2 Rizwan Cheema, 3 Zubin Surkari, 4 Ashish Bagai (wk), 5 Jimmy Hansra, 6 Tyson Gordon, 7 John Davison, 8 Harvir Baidwan, 9 Parth Desai, 10 Henry Osinde, 11 Balaji Rao
Vettori will be missing with his injured knee which could mean an outing for Luke Woodcock, the left-arm spinner, or a recall for fast bowler Hamish Bennett. Meanwhile, Jesse Ryder is recovering from the stomach bug that forced him to miss the Pakistan match and could replace the struggling Jamie How.
New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (wk), 3 Jesse Ryder, 4 Ross Taylor (capt), 5 Scott Styris, 6 James Franklin, 7 Nathan McCullum, 8 Jacob Oram, 9 Luke Woodcock, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Tim Southee
Pitch and conditions
This is Mumbai's first game of the tournament - the venue will also host the final on April 2 - so it will be interesting to assess the pitch conditions. The morning start suggests there could be some help for the seamers and Ross Taylor noted the extra grass on the net surfaces.
Stats and trivia
- The two teams have previously met twice in World Cups, in 2003 when New Zealand won by five wickets and again in 2007 when they claimed a 114-run victory.
- However, in both matches John Davison has made his mark with 75 off 62 balls in Benoni and 52 off 31 in Gros Islet.
"I think it's more with rugby. It's not the same with cricket. The public doesn't have the same expectations as we have as players."
Ross Taylor admits the World Cup probably hasn't grabbed the interest back home
"We are getting better and better with each game, the performances if you have noticed are getting better and better with each game."