Franklin upbeat about NZ's World T20 chances
James Franklin believes the upcoming World Twenty20 could be the final time some of the New Zealand players take part in a world event together and feels the experience in the side could take it to the latter stages of the tournament.
"Probably it is the last World Cup for this group of players playing together," Franklin said after the first of two Twenty20 internationals between India and New Zealand was washed out in Visakhapatnam. Franklin, Daniel Vettori, Jacob Oram, Brendon and Nathan McCullum, and Kyle Mills - part of the New Zealand squad for the World T20 - are all well over 30 years.
"It is a pretty experienced T20 team. A lot of guys have played T20 all over the world so if individuals get in form then I think we have got a real chance of going fairly deep in this tournament."
Franklin skipped New Zealand's recent tour of West Indies and focused on playing T20 cricket for Essex with an eye on the World T20 but said he wanted to play for his country in all three formats. Franklin made a comeback to the Test side for the recent two-match series against India after his previous Test against Pakistan in January 2011.
"I had some months with Essex in England and that was good. Played mostly as a batsman there but I guess that role will change probably a bit with the New Zealand side. I'll probably bat more in the middle order, but that is okay, that is something I am used to. I have had a pretty heavy diet of T20 cricket over the last few months so hopefully that'll bode well for me and the team going into this World Cup.
"I've been lucky to have the opportunity in the last two Test matches, here in India, to have a crack at the longer form for New Zealand again and hopefully that will continue in the future. Recent history suggests I have been more T20 for New Zealand but I am really striving to get back into the New Zealand side for all three formats. Hopefully the selectors back me as well."
Franklin hoped New Zealand would get some time on the field in Chennai during the second T20I after the washout in Visakhapatnam. "Main thing is getting some playing time before the World Cup starts. You can achieve all the strategy and tactical stuff as a team, go to the gym and get some physical work done [during the rains]. We can do everything that we can except play the game."
New Zealand are grouped with Pakistan and Bangladesh in the World T20 and will begin their campaign when they take on the latter in Pallekele on September 21.