New Zealand name experienced World Cup squad

Ish Sodhi last played an ODI for the Black Caps against India in January

Ish Sodhi last played an ODI for the Black Caps against India in January

Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell was the surprise selection in New Zealand's 15-man squad for cricket's one-day World Cup later this year, despite never having played the format at global level.

When speaking this morning to Jason Pine on Radio Sport, Stead also noted how Astle and some of the other fringe Black Caps who missed out on the World Cup squad were unlucky.

While Blundell, who has two Test caps, will likely make his one-day global debut at the tournament, his role will be marginal if Latham stays fit.

Coach Gary Stead said the Kane Williamson-led side had repeatedly excelled at the top level and he was confident the consistency would shine through at the tournament in England and Wales.

Williamson and Ross Taylor, in his fourth World Cup campaign, complete a battle-hardened batting line up.

Blundell, who will act as understudy to first-choice wicketkeeper Tom Latham, got the nod over Tim Seifert who continues to recover from a broken finger.

"We consult widely with [our selections] and Kane is clearly a person that has input into that, as are New Zealand cricket scouts and the selectors themselves, but at the end of the day that's my call to make".

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Sodhi has headed off fellow-legspinner Todd Astle to earn selection, joining left-armer Mitchell Santner as a second tweaker. But he has played only nine one-day internationals and the selectors may have been swayed by the greater experience of Sodhi who has played 30 ODIs.

Among a bevy of allrounders, Colin de Grandhomme appears to have edged out Doug Bracewell for the final spot.

Also back are top-order batsmen Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, and seamers Tim Southee and Matt Henry.

The squad was named at Tai Tapu Primary School, a small country school near Christchurch.

It was a mantra instilled by Brendon McCullum during the 2015 tournament, where New Zealand reached the final, and the 2019 vintage are set to take a similar view into the field.

The Black Caps coach Gary Stead said of Blundell's inclusion: "If there was an injury to Tom Latham, he would fit directly into the role we saw there and then could bat in that position as well". "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".

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