ICC World Twenty20

Kiwis maintain self belief

2010-04-24 14:31
Fighting fit (file)

Wellington - New Zealand's cricket selectors were forced to trawl the roster of walking wounded to pull together their most competitive available team for the Twenty20 world championships.

A third of the squad were in doubt until Saturday when, after surviving an intensive training camp in Australia, they were declared fit enough just before their flight departed for the West Indies.

Jesse Ryder, Jacob Oram, Kyle Mills, Ian Butler and Aaron Redmond are still undergoing rehabilitation and may not be fully match fit, but team manager Dave Currie believes that "fingers crossed" they are ready.

"They've been pushed pretty hard to make sure we don't take any injuries with us to the West Indies. It's been survival of the fittest really and everyone's got through it well," he said.

While 11 players went through the week-long training regime in Australia, Daniel Vettori, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and Shane Bond tuned up in the Indian Premier League.

But despite the patched-up look about the squad, New Zealand still rate themselves as genuine contenders in a wide-open tournament.

Ryder and McCullum form an explosive opening partnership with McCullum posting an unbeaten 116, one short of Chris Gayle's world record, when New Zealand beat Australia in a Twenty20 match in February.

They will lead a seasoned top order that includes Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor, while the bowling echelon features Vettori, Bond and Mills who are among the top six ODI bowlers according to the ICC rankings.

Ryder, who has been sidelined by a raft of injuries since last September, described his progress as "probably not 100 percent but it's as good as it's going to get.

"I've been out for about six months and to come back and to score runs like I did has been good."

Oram believes New Zealand are at least capable of matching their performance at the inaugural world Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 where they reached the semi-finals.

"If we can get everyone fit then we're a real chance to go all the way," he said, confident he would see out the tournament after recovering from a knee injury.

Coach Mark Greatbatch conceded some members of the side would need the warm up games in the West Indies against the tournament hosts and Ireland to round off their preparation, but said overall it was a well balanced side.

"We think we have some very dynamic batters, who can be lethal in this form of the game. Our bowlers are also very effective Twenty20 performers."

New Zealand have stacked their side with spinners for the West Indies wickets with Vettori supported by Nathan McCullum, Rob Nicol and Redmond while Oram and Ryder have a sound strike rate with their nagging medium pacers.

"Obviously the squad balance we've got ... means that if they're (the pitches) going to turn and be slow there's definitely going to be the option of using more spin," Greatbatch said.

New Zealand are a proven force in the shorter versions of cricket, and last October reached the final of the Champions Trophy tournament in South Africa.

However, that was with a predominantly fully fit team and former international Craig McMillan warned against taking anyone into the Twenty20 who is not 100 percent.

"The intensity level is so much higher than in any other form of the game," he said. "Even if it only goes for three hours, you can't afford to carry anyone. A niggling injury will be shown up."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

LIVE: Australia v Proteas

2014-11-22 22:58

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

What was the No 1 reason for the Proteas losing their ICC World Twenty20 semi-final to India?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.