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New Zealand - World Cup Ladder
11 Apr 2006
By: Matt Currie

Team New Zealand
World Cup Claim to Fame
Beaten semi finalists in 1992 (beat seven of the other eight Test playing nations along the way) and 1999.
Two-line Profile:
1. Dangerous in any run chase due to great depth in the batting line up.
2. As is usually the case with New Zealand teams, no real superstars other than Shane Bond, but they make up for that by playing exceptionally well as a team.

1) Daniel Vettori
The only New Zealand player picked in the ICC World XI last year, Vettori deserves his number one ranking due to his superb performances over the last two years. Over that period his bowling average has been 25.50 at an economy rate of 3.73 runs per over. With slow, low pitches expected in the West Indies, Vettori will be vital if New Zealand is to be successful in 2007.

2) Shane Bond
What can you say about this man? With him in the side the BLACKCAPS look a completely different outfit. Bond has been outstanding since his return to cricket after a frustrating two year break due to injury, and let's hope his back holds up for the World Cup where he looks set to dazzle all.

3) Stephen Fleming
Widely regarded as the best captain in the world, Fleming's tactical skills will be crucial to New Zealand if they are to win the tournament. His batting has been inconsistent of late, but his ability and experience cannot be questioned.

4) Nathan Astle
New Zealand's best batsman in the 50 over version of the game, Astle looked like he wouldn't be in the Caribbean after being dropped at the end of 2005 after a poor run of form. Since then he has fought back and regained his place in the team, scoring 295 runs at 73.75 in the recent series against the West Indies and cementing himself back in the side.

5) Brendon McCullum
New Zealand's answer to Michael Hussey, McCullum will be looking to make a firm mark on the international stage in 2007. Barring injury McCullum will certainly be New Zealand's keeper for the World Cup and will be looking to improve his consistency with both bat and gloves as he continues to develop.

6) Kyle Mills
The unsung hero of New Zealand's bowling attack; Mills is the perfect foil for Shane Bond in the One-Day game. With the lack of other bowling options in the country, the ever improving Mills can book his ticket to the Caribbean right now.

7) Lou Vincent
Despite being dropped from the Test side, Vincent is still safely in the ODI side, with good performances over the past twelve months securing his opening position. He is an exceptional fielder and has the job of getting New Zealand off to a fast start with the bat.

8) Jacob Oram
New Zealand's premier all-rounder, Oram is currently recovering from a heel injury and should be fit for New Zealand's tour of South Africa. Oram's job at the World Cup will be to keep the runs down with his bowling through a tight line and length, and to score quick runs down the lower order.

9) Scott Styris
'Pigo' is a slightly under-rated one-day cricketer. The slow West Indian pitches will suit his bowling, and he has the ability to play match winning knocks with the bat as well. He is a guaranteed starter for the BLACKCAPS in any big match they play.

10) Peter Fulton
Fulton had a magnificent start to his one-day international career against Sri Lanka at the start of 2006 but didn't have so much fun against the West Indies. He is battling for a middle order spot with two or three other players, and will have to take his chances if he wants to be part of the World Cup.

11) Ross Taylor
Taylor is the most exciting batting talent to come out of New Zealand since, dare I say, Craig McMillan. He had a wonderful domestic season and was promoted to the national side for the last two matches of the West Indies series, where he showed enough promise to suggest that he could, if selected, be a very useful weapon for New Zealand at the World Cup.

12) Jeetan Patel
New Zealand's back up spinner to Vettori, Patel is firmly in Coach John Bracewell's World Cup plans. He has been used as the 'super sub' a fair bit over the summer, but with that rule being scrapped he may struggle to make too many New Zealand sides unless Vettori is injured. He will be there or thereabouts when the World Cup squad is named.

13) James Franklin
Labeled the next Chris Cairns by the great man himself, Franklin still has a long way to go to be even named in the same breath as Cairns. His batting has come on recently, but his bowling is still very erratic and he will be up against it to make the New Zealand side if Daryll Tuffey returns successfully from injury.

14) Hamish Marshall
John Bracewell's love child, Marshall has been in horrific form for the last twelve months in both forms of the game. The only thing that has kept him in the side, it seems, is his unusual relationship with Bracewell. If he makes one 50 in his next ten matches he will make the World Cup squad. His fielding is handy even if he can't score runs.

15) Jamie How
How has not kicked on since his half century on debut against Sri Lanka at the start of the year, and was dropped for the final two West Indian ODIs in February. With Astle, Vincent and Fleming all ahead of him as top order batting options, How will have to score heavily in any games he gets in an attempt to squeeze into the BLACKCAPS World Cup squad.

16) Michael Mason
Mason came back into the BLACKCAPS fold in 2006 after a two year absence, presumably for running over one of the selectors cats. He performed well in the ODIs he played in before his axing and returned this year and put in repectable performances. He will push Franklin hard for the first change role in the side over the next eighteen months.

17) Matt Sinclair
'Skippy' Sinclair is once again in fabulous form, smashing domestic attacks to pieces all over the country, and it will be interesting to see whether the selectors take another gamble with Mr. Inconsistency. Logic suggests the selectors have learnt from their mistakes and that Sinclair is no longer a one-day option, but his domestic record tells a different story.

18) Chris Harris
Who would have thought that this guy was still going strong at 37 years of age? It is hard to know just how much of a chance Harry is for 2007, but he does still hold a New Zealand cricket contract, and Bracewell has said that the West Indian pitches will suit his bowling perfectly, so maybe there is hope for him yet.

19) Andre Adams
This guy is explosive, but can't seem to get enough game time to put forward his case for selection. He can take wickets and hit sixes, but can also be awful, especially with the ball. Time is running out for him if he wants to return to his native country in 2007.

20) Craig McMillan
Most New Zealand fans will be praying that we never see this guy again in a BLACKCAPS shirt, but it cannot be denied that he has talent, and lots of it. He seems to be firmly out of the picture at the moment, but it will only take a couple of injuries for him to come back into the frame.

21) Peter McGlashan
McGlashan has overtaken Gareth Hopkins as backup to McCullum after some strong performances in the State Shield this year. He may get an opportunity in the black uniform at some stage this year if McCullum suffers an injury or is rested.

22) Bruce Martin
Martin has never represented New Zealand and is never likely to unless Vettori breaks down. Still, he is a useful cricketer and will put pressure on Patel for the second spinner's spot all the way up to the World Cup.

23) Daryll Tuffey
Still coming back from injury, (yes still!), Tuffey will get an opportunity to stake a claim over Franklin and Mason if he can successfully return from injury in time for the World Cup. Realistically if his form is good enough in twelve months time, he will be in the squad.

24) James Marshall
It is my opinion, (and many others), that Marshall made the ODI side because he looks like his brother, who was in good form at the time. He has seemed totally out of his depth whenever he has played for New Zealand, but has been in good form for Northen Districts lately so a return to the national side is not out of the question, especially as Bracewell seems to like twins.

25) Michael Papps
The vision of that Brett Lee bouncer smacking Papps flush on the helmet at Eden Park last year obviously hasn't vanished from the selectors' memories, as Papps has been scoring a truckload of runs for Canterbury this year. However with How now ahead of him in the pecking order, Papps will need a couple of the top order players to suffer injuries for him to be back in black

26) Jesse Ryder
Hailed as the next Martin Crowe by some, Ryder was on the verge of ODI selection this year but performed poorly for Wellington and lost out to the other young talent Ross Taylor. Ryder looks to be more of a Test option at this stage.

27) Rob Nicol
Another young middle order player, Nicol has next to no chance of making the BLACKCAPS in the next two years but will definitely make the national side one day.

28) Paul Hitchcock
Hitchcock could be a bolter in the World Cup squad, after he reinvented himself this year as an aggressive opening batsman. He topped the run charts for Auckland in the domestic one-day competition this year and he stills has the ability to bowl well at the death. His progress will be interesting to follow.

29) Ewen Thompson
Thompson has an impressive domestic bowling record, (which New Zealand medium pacer doesn't!), and is a good hard hitting lower order batsman. He is another to watch closely, and has a small chance of putting some pressure on Franklin, Adams etc.

30) Joseph Yovich
This guy has talent; unfortunately he isn't consistant enough to cut it at the top level. His bowling is far to loose but his batting has really come on and he has scored some big runs this year for N.D. Yovich's name will pop up in selection meetings if Oram, Franklin, Adams and Mills all die in the next year.

31) Lance Hamilton
Hamilton has been tried, and he failed, albeit against the rampant World Champions. He is a poor excuse for an international opening bowler. New Zealand will be in big trouble if he has the new ball in his hands in the World Cup final.

32) Chris Martin
Please, just please NO! I'm begging you.

33) Ian Butler
Bracewell hates him and he is injured, his chances of selection are less than 0, unless the Coach is axed before 2007.

34) Mark Gillespie
A solid performer for Wellington this year with ball, Gillespie can bowl 140+ kmph but despite being a wicket taker, is too erratic to make the big time just yet.

35) Aaron Redmond
I thought I should include a few Otago players now, just so they don't feel left out. Redmond is a promising bat, but has given up bowling leg spin which is disappointing and leaves him with no hope of making it to the West Indies nest year unless he swims.

36) Jarred Englefield
Pretty similar to Redmond's situation, except he doesn't bowl leg spin (as far as I know). He is a promising bat with not even the slightest chance of making the BLACKCAPS any time soon due to the number of players in front of him.

37) Tama Canning
Retire soon. Please.

38) Paul Wiseman
See Tama Canning (37)

39) James McMillan
A genuine fast bowler who, just like every other New Zealand bowler in the last decade, has been severely hampered by injuries. He will not recover in time from his last injury to put any pressure on the incumbents for 2007.

40) Todd Astle
Captain of the Under 19 team that lost to Nepal (hehe), Astle has played his way into the Canterbury side where he has had some success already. He bowls leg spin and is also an opening batsman, so from the sounds of it he may be a very handy cricketer for New Zealand in years to come.

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