Seifert goals to use CWC snub as a motivational tool

Tim Seifert, the wicketkeeper, narrowly missed out on a place in the New Zealand squad for the forthcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, with the uncapped Tom Blundell getting the nod instead.

Seifert goals to use CWC snub as motivational tool
Seifert goals to use CWC snub as a motivational tool

The spirited batsman said that he was “gutted” at existence left out, but at the same time renowned he would use the rebuff as a tool of incentive to establish a place for himself in the 50-over format. His wicket-keeping counterpart, Blundell, is enhanced known for his exploits in the extended format. The fact can be shown by the fact that he averages 37.74 in first-class cricket likened to 23.84 in List A cricket. He also split a hundred on his Test against the West Indies in 2017.

On the other side, Seifert gave a sight of his showpieces with a blazing 43-ball 84 against India in the first T20I in Wellington. On his part, Gary Stead, the NZ coach, designated that Blundell’s ‘keeping skills helped him to win a place in the set-up.

“At the end of the day I did not make the CWC so you are always going to be cleaned,” he told Stuff on Monday, April 8. “Tom Blundell is one of my best mates and even though we are fighting for the same position, if there’s talk around the wicketkeeper there’s always probably going to be me and him involved. Getting permission for those SL ODI games, in the back of the mind I thought I had a little step ahead of him.

“Everyone has got a bit to work on. Even skipper Kane Williamson is still working on his batting. It’s not like a ruin. I for myself don’t think I am far away from Tom Blundell with my keeping work. I have certainly used this selection as fire in the belly and will work hard so I can be up to that level. It’s stripping, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. There’s still a lot of further cricket to come,” he noted.

Siefert also wounded the little finger on his right hand on the last day of the domestic season cricket while playing for Northern Districts. The injury has all but lined him out of action for the future unofficial one-day matches versus a full-strength Australian XI in Brisbane.

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Targeted CWC19 as a teenager, says delighted Sodhi

Ish Sodhi, the NZ leg-spinner, says he is “very excited” to be a part of the Black Caps’ team for  Cricket World Cup 2019, and wants to grow as an “all-round cricketer” ahead of the CWC.

Targeted CWC19 as a teenager, says delighted Sodhi
Targeted CWC19 as a teenager, says delighted Sodhi

Sodhi has grabbed 39 ODI wickets in 30 matches, is the only specialist wrist-spinner in the 15-man squad. This will be his first arrival at the flagship event.

“I am very, happy to be part of that team,” he told Cricket Next on Saturday, 6. “Everyone dreams of representing their country in the CWC. When I was 15-16 years old, I told myself that ‘2019 is a good CWC for you to target’.

“Luckily, I was named in the team the other day. It’s great to have some support of not only the skipper but the coaching staff as well. They have shown a lot of confidence in me and, confidently, I can repay that.”

Sodhi depends on more on the turn than pace. But he is now at a stage where he is trying to find the perfect mix of both.

“I have always been an old-style bowler in a way that I have supposed on turning the ball as much as I can,” he said. “You generally have to bowl a little bit slower to achieve that. But the best thing I can do now is to achieve the correct balance between spinning the ball and trying to bowl fast when needed.”

Sodhi is now a part of the RR team at the IPL 2019 but is yet to feature in the tournament. However, he has taken that in his pace and is utilizing the time in his hands to work under the alert eyes of Sairaj Bahutule, Rajasthan’s coach.

“I met Sairaj Bahutule and kept a good relationship with him throughout the IPL last season and then after that as well,” Sodhi.

Who picked up 5 wickets for RR last season, said “I am also interacting with Stuart MacGill and he has been bizarre for me, not just as a leg-spin coach, but as a mentor as well because a lot of leg-spin is in the attention. Working with MacGill in the last six months has been enormous for my soreness. I am really willing I have him as my friend and mentor.

“My preparation starts now really. I am preparing myself to be an all-round cricketer. The amount of time I am not playing for the Royals, I’ll use to try and improve my batting because there is a lot of time to do that and continue working on my fielding. I’ll also keep making minor adjustments to my bowling to suit different conditions.”

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World Cup bound Jimmy Neesham talked about his retirement

Getting picked in the New Zealand squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 was “surreal”, an elated Jimmy Neesham has said, especially since he was contemplating retirement 18 months ago.

A hard-hitting all-rounder, Neesham was among the 15 players named for the World Cup in England and Wales, starting 30 May. It was the latest step in a strong comeback for him, since returning for the Sri Lanka series at home.

Neesham had been dropped after a disappointing ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and even lost his place in his domestic side Otego. He remained out of national reckoning thereafter, before making a triumphant international return in January this year, when he smashed 47* in 13 balls. He has since maintained that form, but he explained that it had taken him considerable mental fortitude to keep going when the chips were down.

World Cup bound Jimmy Neesham talked about his retirement
World Cup-bound Jimmy Neesham talked about his retirement

“I actually called Heath Mills CEO of New Zealand Players Association and told him I was going to retire,” he told reporters on Thursday, 4 April. “I owe a lot to him for convincing me to take a little break and come back three or four weeks later. From then on, being able to make progress steadily, come back with Wellington and make this team as well, it’s all been a pretty surreal ride.

“He talked me off a ledge a little … Basically told me to go home, have a couple of weeks off, not pick up a cricket bat, and see how I felt in a fortnight or so and we’d gradually talk about getting back into the game. When I did go back to Otego, I didn’t want to. I wanted to have another week or so off, but he convinced me the best way to get back on the bike is to just get back on and see how you go.”

At the end of that season, Neesham made the switch from Otego for Wellington, and success came through runs and wickets, even as he began to enjoy the sport more. The break had helped him identify an important facet of his personality and game: “When I was the most driven and most motivated, I played my worst,” he said. “Trying too hard isn’t too helpful for me as a cricketer. Once I started enjoying the game again and being more carefree, that’s when it started to come together.

“I put way too much pressure on myself. I wanted to dominate domestic cricket, wanted to score 100s every game. Once that starts going in a downward spiral, you aren’t scoring runs and taking wickets, you put more pressure on yourself, and it got to the point where it had to break. Luckily, I took that advice and took a short break instead of a long break, and since then it’s been on the up and up.”

Neesham spoke to a psychologist to help him work through his frustrations. “I’m not much of a communicator at the best of times. Just being able to talk through a few of the struggles I was having off the field [was helpful] – it only took four or five sessions to really see some progress.

“I’d given the other way around a good crack, trying to get enjoyment from succeeding, but once I paid less attention to the runs and wickets, less attention to hitting balls for two hours the day before a game, and just going out and enjoying it, that was when the results started to come.”

Making the call-up sweeter was the fact that he had missed out on selection in 2015 – has been “the consensus No.16”. “Obviously, missing out four years ago was gut-wrenching,” he said, remembering how it was “bitter-sweet” watching from the stands as Grant Elliott won them the semi-final against South Africa.

Now, with New Zealand starting their campaign on 1 June against Sri Lanka, a more relaxed Neesham is set to make amends.

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Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad

New Zealand became the first of the 10 participating nations in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to name their squad for the flagship tournament, on Wednesday, 3 April.

While the squad contained a few surprises, most notably the call-ups for Tom Blundell and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who was selected ahead of Todd Astle, for the most part, it was what was largely expected in the months leading up to the event.

While some have been given a longer rope despite injuries and poor form, others were afforded no such luxury, as the selectors sought to balance experience, potential, and performance. At the end of it, who were the big gainers and losers? And what did we learn? Let’s take a look.

Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad
Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad

In January 2014, Corey Anderson announced himself to world cricket, with the then fastest ODI century, off 36 balls, against West Indies. That innings shot Anderson into prominence, and he quickly rose to become the No. 1 all-rounder in the New Zealand side for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015.

Since then, the landscape of New Zealand cricket has changed a lot. Anderson has been plagued by injuries and Colin de Grand home has stepped into Anderson’s shoes, fulfilling essentially the same role.

Since the World Cup final at the MCG, Anderson has played only 14 more ODIs for New Zealand. He underwent surgery on his left shoulder last week, which essentially ruled out his participation in this year’s World Cup.

Unlike a lot of present-day teams, New Zealand hasn’t gone out of the way to slot in a wrist-spinner. Their only specialist in that trade, Ish Sodhi, is 30 ODIs old. Mitchell Santner offers the left-arm orthodox variety, but the main strength is where it has always traditionally been: fast bowling.

New Zealand’s inclination towards pace is further demonstrated by their persistence with Tim Southee, who hasn’t been at his best with the white ball in a long while. In ODIs this year, Southee has conceded runs at close to seven and over.

But with the World Cup being held in England, Southee, along with Trent Boult, could be a nightmare if the swing is on offer. Additionally, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson bring raw pace, while all-rounders James Neesham and de Grandhomme offer handy medium-pacer through the middle overs.

Colin Munro averages 25 after 51 ODIs. He has seven half-centuries in 47 innings and has often got off to starts only to throw them away.

Even he has continued to make a case for himself with his performances in T20 Internationals. He strikes at 162 in the format and has three centuries – second only to India’s Rohit Sharma.

Munro is likely to only be used as a reserve opener. But his selection is a clear indication that his potential is too good to ignore, and that the selectors are still holding out hope that he will eventually come good on his promise.

In six years since his ODI debut, Neesham has played 49 matches. Eight of those appearances have come this year. As of December last year, Neesham had spent 18 months out of the side. He then earned a recall for the ODIs against Sri Lanka at the start of this year and hasn’t looked back since.

In his first game back, Neesham blasted 47* off 13 balls, striking six sixes at Mount Maunganui, and followed it up with three wickets. He took that form into the next game, striking 64 off 37 balls and picking up two wickets.

In eight matches this year, Neesham has 204 runs at an average of 68 and a strike-rate of 182. Add to that 10 wickets at an average of 23, and you have a player fast cementing him as an integral cog in the New Zealand line-up.

Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad
Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad

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‘I’d really enjoy the chance to play the CWC –Ish Sodhi

The New Zealand spinner is hopeful of grabbing a spot in New Zealand’s squad for the impending ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

“I think it World Cup is the best white-ball competition,” Sodhi told ESPN. “Being quite a sad and historian of the game, I’d really enjoy the opportunity and chance to play the CWC. I am still hoping for the chance.”

In 2019, Sodhi played five ODIs at home – three against Sri Lanka and two against India. He was wicketless against a strong India side who won the five-match series 4-1, however, in New Zealand’s sweep over Sri Lanka, he was economical and also picked up the most wickets in the series.

‘I’d really enjoy the chance to play the CWC –Ish Sodhi
‘I’d really enjoy the chance to play the CWC –Ish Sodhi

“It was fantastic to play that full series against SL, and contribute to a few wins,” he says. “You can be comparatively aggressive while still trying to keep the run rate down. I think your key job is to take wickets. It is definitely a role I really enjoyed playing and to be able to contribute was really special.”

Sodhi, who has made 30 ODI appearances for New Zealand, admitted bowling against the likes of England and India, who he also said are going to be the favorites in the upcoming 50-over tournament, one must be on the feet against their top players.

“Fascinatingly, all of England batsmen are 360-degree players,” Sodhi says. “They reverse-sweep, they sweep quite hard. They use their feet. You have to retain things simple and almost allow the batsmen to make faults, as opposed to trying to set them up. Adil Rashid occasionally bats at No. 11, so they bat all the way down, and they can be hard to encompass.

“You have to faith that you get something out of the wicket against India even though occasionally the pitches are quite flat. You have to bowl with an aggressive mindset. They are actually good at the speed of the innings.

“They can recognize the threat and feed off other options that aren’t bowling as well that day. It is important to recognize how they are looking to play you, and then make the plan. You have to think on your feet against great players.”

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Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle

New Zealand has announced their 15-man squad for this summer’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Kane Williamson will lead the side and Ross Taylor is set to be the seventh New Zealand player to feature in four Cricket World Cups. Williamson, Tim Southee, and Martin Guptill will be playing in their third tournament.

The biggest surprise is the inclusion of wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, who is yet to play a one-day international. Tim Seifert, a regular back-up in recent times to first-choice gloveman Tom Latham, has been excluded, partly due to a broken finger which has kept him out of action for the past month.

Blundell’s domestic white-ball record is modest – he has averaged 23.81 with three half-centuries in 40 games so far, though he has a Test hundred. He is also considered one of New Zealand’s most talented behind the stumps.

Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle
Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle

The other major contention was over the leg-spinner’s spot, and Ish Sodhi beat Todd Astle to the honor. Sodhi is the more experienced of the two, having played 63 limited-overs internationals to Astle’s 11, but the latter had been the man in possession of the slot, having played in the Black Caps’ last ODI series against Bangladesh.

Seamer Doug Bracewell, who featured in New Zealand’s home season, was also left out, with several other fast bowlers competing for spots.

Coach Gary Stead said that there were some tough calls during the selection process, but felt the right balance has been struck.

“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 honor, and I know the entire squad and support staff are

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New Zealand announce Squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Black Caps have named 15-man squad for 2019 Cricket World Cup. New Zealand have become first team to make squad announcement for CWC 2019. New Zealand Cricket has picked an experienced team for the premier ICC tournament. Kane Williamson will be captain of the Kiwi squad. Tom Blundell is selected as reserve glove-man to backup regular wicket-keeper Tom Latham. Ish Sodhi is chosen as second spinner after spin bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner. Colin Munro has retained place in the ICC Cricket World Cup touring party.

Kiwi coach Gary Stead said: “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.”

Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls are likely to open New Zealand batting. Colin Munro will have to probably adjust in middle order. He may be limited to reserve batsman role if original lineup performs well. Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will form backbone of the middle order. Tom Latham is regular wicket-keeper in squad. He may open innings in some matches if need arises. Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme are fast bowling all-rounders. Mitchell Santner provides spin bowling all-rounder option. Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson form the pace battery. New Zealand are one of the favourits for the Cricket World Cup title for 2019 edition in England and Wales.

Gary Stead further elaborated: “As with any squad named for a major tournament, there’s had to be some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players. 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.”

New Zealand Squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Tom Blundell (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson

Trent Boult helps New Zealand win In 4th ODI against India

New Zealand at last won a match in current ODI series against touring India side. Trent Boult revived BlackCaps with consolation win in 4th ODI on 31st January 2019 at Seddon Park, Hamilton. Boult led bowling attack in restricting India to 92 all out inside 31 overs. Colin de Grandhomme helped in tightening screws on Indian batting line-up. New Zealand easily chased the meager target in 15 overs for the loss of two wickets. Ross Taylor aced the chase with Henry Nichols playing the anchor role as hosts finished the game before dinner time. Swing played vital role in limiting India to a low total, with Boult and Grandhomme bowling ten overs each on the trot. India and New Zealand are using this ODI serie for preparation of Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Trent Boult swings New Zealand to victory in 4th ODI against India at Hamilton
Trent Boult swings New Zealand to victory in 4th ODI against India at Hamilton

India had won first three matches of the ODI series comfortably. Indian selectors rested captain Virat Kohli for last two ODIs and T20I series. Shikhar Dhawan and stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma were dismissed early by Trent Boult. Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik became easy targets of Colin de Grandhomme. Debutant Shubman Gill had disappointing start and became third scalp of Boult. Kedar Jadhav became fourth wicket of Trent Boult by getting lbw to leave India 35 for 6. Grandhomme picked his third scalp by bowling out Bhuvneshwar Kumar with India 7 down on 40. Hardik Pandya hit some lusty blows to help India cross 50 runs mark. Trent Boult removed Pandya to complete his five-for, with India reeling on 55 for 8. Ninth wicket partnership of 25 runs between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal took India to 80 runs, before Todd Astle sent Yadav packing. Chahal hit some crucial boundaries to take India to 92 runs, when James Neesham bowled Khaleel Ahmed.

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill started briskly by hitting first ball for six, followed by two fours on next two deliveries. Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Guptill on fourth ball to bring BlackCaps in check. Stand-in opener Henry Nichols in place of Colin Munro left out due to being out of form, played sheath anchor role scoring 30 runs from 42 balls with 4 fours and a six. BlackCaps captain Kane Williamson made 11 runs from 18 deliveries, hitting 2 fours before being plucked out by B Kumar. Ross Taylor finished the match with a cameo of 25 ball 37 runs, comprising 2 fours and 3 sixes. It was biggest defeat for India in terms of number of balls remaining, with 212 deliveries left. Trent Boult was judged player of the match for his 5 for 21.

New Zealand Rugby and Cricket stars to Play in Black Clash Twenty20

Rugby and Cricket players of New Zealand will compete in “Black Clash” Twenty20 match on 25th January 2018 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Winners will be awarded with Lomu-Crowe trophy. This cricket trophy is named after late sports legends Martin Crowe and Jonah Lomu. Proceeds from the match will be used for charity.

Jonah Lomu was New Zealand rugby star, who was famous around the world. He had debuted in 1995 at the age of 19, becoming the youngest ever All Black. He ended his international career with 63 caps and 37 tries in 2002. He died in November 2015 at the age of 40 after a heart attack. Martin Crowe was a former New Zealand Cricket captain and one of the finest Kiwi batsman. Crowe was skipper of famed BlackCaps cricket team that was tipped for success in 1992 Cricket World Cup before being eliminated by Pakistan in Semi Final. Martin Crowe died aged 53 in March 2016 after a long battle with cancer.

New Zealand Rugby and Cricket players to Contest in Black Clash Twenty20
New Zealand Rugby and Cricket players to Contest in Black Clash Twenty20

Team Rugby will feature main All Blacks rugby players like Kieran Read, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Israel Dagg, Jordie Barrett, Ofisa Tunu’u, Jason Spice, Richie McCaw, Ali Williams, Kaylum Boshier and Kendra Cocksedge. Team Rugby have selected former Australia cricketer David Hussey as international wildcard. Team Rugby will wear the red and black colours of Canterbury. New Zealand rugby team are currently preparing for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. This contest offers a different kind of preparation for All Blacks as it is uphill task to take on seasoned cricket superstars.

All Blacks outside back Israel Dagg said: “It’s huge. Look at the trophy, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful. It symbolises New Zealand and, obviously, you’ve got two great, world renowned athletes in Lomu and Crowe. Those names will live on forever.”

Dagg who had tryst with cricket in 2005 echoed: “I’ll try and get it down as fast as I can. Obviously, with rugby you do a lot more upper body weights. I’ll try and do 130, something like that. I live pretty close to [All Blacks captain Kieran] Reado, so I might knock on his door and go and have a net.”

Team Cricket will include Brendon McCullum, Stephen Fleming, Luke Ronchi, Grant Elliott, Kyle Mills, James Franklin, Hamish Marshall, Nathan Astle, Chris Harris and Liz Perry. Team Cricket will announce the international wildcard next week. Team Cricket will don the blue kit in the competition. Team Cricket comprise of retired cricket players, but proceed from this match will benefit New Zealand Cricket. Experts have termed BlackCaps as favourits for Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

New Zealand’s hero in the 2015 World Cup semifinal and final Grant Elliott stated: “Absolutely. Everything to lose, nothing to gain but our pride. I think pride is the important thing. I’ve always seen games like this start off with a bit of a smile on the face, but then there’s always a pivotal moment and suddenly that completive spirit takes over.”

Team Rugby: Kieran Read (c), Richie McCaw, Israel Dagg, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Aaron Smith, Jason Spice, Ali Williams, Kendra Cocksedge, Kaylum Boshier, Ofisa Tunu’u, David Hussey (wildcard). Coach: Sir Graham Henry.

Team Cricket: Stephen Fleming (player coach), Brendon McCullum (c), Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi, Kyle Mills, Chris Harris, Nathan Astle, James Franklin, Hamish Marshall, Liz Perry, Wildcard (TBA). Manager/motivator: Scott Robertson.