Sodhi and Blundell named in New Zealand World Cup squad
Colin Munro has retained his place in a New Zealand squad where the majority of the names were very settled
Ish Sodhi and Tom Blundell have claimed the two uncertain spots in New Zealand's World Cup squad with the 15 names being confirmed in Christchurch on Wednesday.
The roles of second spinner and reserve keeper had the most debate attached to them with Sodhi being preferred to fellow legspinner Todd Astle and Blundell, who is uncapped in ODIs, earning a late call-up following an injury to Tim Seifert.
The rest of the squad, the first for the ten competing nations to be confirmed, is very much as expected with the shape of the World Cup party having largely taken shape since Gary Stead took over from Mike Hesson as coach.
ALSO READ: How the World Cup squads are stacking up
Colin Munro keeps his place although is likely to find himself as the reserve batsman with Henry Nicholls slated to open alongside Martin Guptill. Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme have taken the seam-bowling allrounder spots with Mitchell Santner, who has recovered from knee surgery, set to be the main spinner.
"As with any squad named for a major tournament, there's had to be some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players," coach Gary Stead said. "The key for us was finding the right balance for the squad and making sure we had our bases covered for what is going to be a very competitive World Cup. As a one-day unit we've been pretty consistent over the past few years and possess a very experienced group of core players, proven at the top level.
"The World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket and to be the first nation to name a squad for the tournament is really exciting. I'd like to congratulate all the players selected. To represent your country at a World Cup is a huge honour and I know the entire squad and support staff are looking forward to the challenges ahead."
The squad will have a series of two-day training camps in Christchurch later in April before heading to Australia for a trip that includes three unofficial one-day matches. A large number of the World Cup squad won't be present for that tour as they are at the IPL so a collection of reserve players will be included.
"We will have three training camps through April which will involve many players who are not in this squad as it's important they're ready on stand-by should we lose anybody in the lead up to or at the tournament," Stead said.
Squad Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Tom Blundell, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult