New Zealand news April 16, 2014

Watling to lead NZ A in England

ESPNcricinfo staff

BJ Watling will lead the New Zealand A squad on a month-long tour to England, which includes eight players with Test experience. The side will play nine 50-over matches, including games against Sri Lanka A, Scotland and England Lions, and two three-day matches against Kent and Surrey.

The tour will be an opportunity for the management to look at some of the fringe players in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup. "It's a very important tour in terms of the World Cup and players showing they are able to perform certain roles for us," Mike Hesson, New Zealand coach, told the New Zealand Herald.

With the opener's slot in ODIs not yet confirmed, Hesson identified Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham and Anton Devcich, who are part of the New Zealand A squad, as candidates for the World Cup squad.

"They will have a number of opportunities to show they are capable of batting at the top of the order in one-day cricket. It's going to be a huge opportunity for those guys. There are some very contestable positions for the World Cup squad," Hesson said.

Devcich, Colin Munro and Ish Sodhi will return after the one-dayers and will be replaced by Todd Astle, Michael Bracewell and Mark Craig for the three-day games.

The one-dayers will begin on July 31 with the first game against Northamptonshire, while the first three-day match will be played on August 25.

New Zealand A squad: BJ Watling, Hamish Bennett, Dean Brownlie, Colin de Grandhomme, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, Michael Bracewell, Mark Craig.

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  • Chris on April 21, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    New Zealand badly need this tour considering how weak they are against the strong teams. Isn't Watling from South Africa? :D pretty good player to take and use.

  • Ant on April 21, 2014, 1:34 GMT

    New Zealand crickets achillies heal is spin. As much as we would like to be optimistic about the benefits of this tour, we must send a NZ find development team at least every 2 years if not every single year to IND/SL/BD/UAE. This is where NZ crickets profits would be best invested for greatest long term gains

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    my top line up from this would be rutherford latham brownlie mitchell munro watling c wk devicich kuggelien sodhi henry bennett, easily swap roles of latham and devicich depending on what type of start they want

  • adam on April 16, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    For info on when the games against Scotland will be and where, check this out ... BJ Watling will lead his side north of the border for three one day matches, with two in Ayr (15 and 17 August) and one at the Grange in Edinburgh (21 August).

  • jared on April 16, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    pretty exciting bowling line up, love to see bennett, milne and henry in the same xi, hopefully they are over there injury worries, also interested to see how daryl mitchell goes he seems to be the next batter in line to become a blackcap, shame there is no craig cachopa especially when a constant under achiever in elliot is selected, also a shame that the selectors seem to have given up on flynn, he was poorly treated, shifted up and down the order and ultimately failed but he just looks like such a classy player but i guess his numbers just don't do him justice and has paid the price, otherwise a pretty exciting squad, i hope they do well

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Another VERY important purpose this tour has is to give Watling much-needed (and deserved) one-day game time. We need batsmen with patience that don't rely too much on slogging to make high scores - in other words I'd like another batsman to be playing the role that Williamson and Taylor had been doing all series v India - playing intelligent cricket and ensuring the powerplay is reached with only 3 down tops. Another player like this wasn't needed this summer, but that's because of how brilliant Kane and Rosco were in form, and the questionable captaincy of Dhoni. Vs South Africa or Australia, I'd quite like Watling there to steady the ship against a Johnson or Steyn assault.

    Also, Watling is simply one of the best batsmen in the country? Who was one of the three who saved the Basin test? Who averaged 42.5 in ODIs since 2012? Who was one of two BCs who could resist SA's bowling? Who was our best batsman against West Indies and Sri Lanka? Not Ronchi, but Watling.

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