With the World Cup looming large on the horizon, let’s take a look at some of the other potential Blackcaps selections that were unlucky to miss out and those who could still play at the tournament.
In the eyes of nearly everybody, Matt Henry’s non World Cup selection was the biggest surprise.
21 wickets in 8 matches, an average of 15, with an economy of just under 5 are bowling statistics that would warrant a selection in most cricket sides but Henry was outed presumably in favour of Adam Milne who is known for his speed with the ball in hand, and Kyle Mills who will be one of the most experienced heads in New Zealand’s squad for the World Cup.
Matt Henry has played on a couple of occasions during the ODI series against Sri Lanka and is poised to be the first call in if injuries hit the Blackcaps bowling stocks.
It was a case that had been pre determined, but the reason why Jesse Ryder chose to opt himself out of World Cup availability may not be down to personal issues as he first stated, but perhaps a niggling back injury which had become quite serious after an incident in the gym.
Ryder shortly after pulled out of his commitments to BBL team the Melbourne Renegades but is currently back on the field playing for the Otago Volts in the Ford Trophy.
Ryder averages 33 in ODI cricket for the Blackcaps with an impressive strike rate of 95. Also, interesting point of note, Ryder averages a higher than ODI standard of 40 in Test Cricket and would have been the perfect replacement should Martin Guptill pick up an injury sometime over the summer.
Sadly though, Ryder brings just too much baggage to the game.
Some may say that Anton Devcich was unlucky to miss out on a place in the World Cup squad, but was outed most probably due to his lack of experience at international level more than anything else.
Anton Devcich opened for the Blackcaps during the recent series against Pakistan in the UAE and proved to be a viable option at the top of the order, but his low average of just under 20 after a few decent goes with the bat may have been a factor in his selection being denied.
Plus with Brendon McCullum moving to the top of the order and other opening options such as Kane Williamson and Tom Latham available to fill that void, perhaps a better average when given a shot at the top level would have further pushed Devcich’s World Cup likelihood.
Dean Brownlie is the typical mid order batsmen that many would have had in mind, but his stats suggest that his failure to make the Blackcaps World Cup squad isn’t as surprising as you’d think.
Granted Brownlie has only played 10 internationals, but a total of 203 runs in 9 turns at the crease isn’t the worst reading ever but it certainly isn’t the best either. Like many batsmen who play ODI cricket for the Blackcaps, their form in the shorter version of the game just isn’t as impressive as in Test Cricket, especially early in their careers, but the likes of Kane Williamson have proved that it takes a lot longer than 10 matches in one form of the game to find consistency in runs.
Like the case is with Matt Henry, the outed Dean Brownlie could well be one of the first to bring into the Blackcaps middle order if any of the batsmen were to suffer injury.
The stats point in favour of the decision, but James Neesham looked to be a certainty for the Blackcaps World Cup effort prior to the official squad announcement.
His results on the field pail in comparison to Grant Elliot who replaced him, but in terms of consistent selection, James Neesham was a regular in the Blackcaps throughout 2014 and appeared to be performing well, especially with the ball. 18 wickets in 16 matches, but the real issue for Neesham was with the bat.
Just 146 runs in 13 bats at the crease, including an experiment at the top of the order which was an utter failure.
Like with Brownlie, the performance of James Neesham with the bat was far better in test cricket than it ever was in the shorter form of the game.