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CT 2017, Match 9, New Zealand v Bangladesh: New Zealand Predicted XI

Only with a victory againt Bangladesh might New Zealand have a chance of making it to the semis; the result of the England-Australia game has to go their way as well.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson of New Zealand. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The noose is rather tightly wound around New Zealand as they currently find themselves occupying the bottom spot in Group A of the ICC Champions Trophy. Kane Williamson’s boys, however, have a chance to redeem themselves against Bangladesh. Furthermore, if Australia succumb to England, then the Kiwis will be on their way to the semi-finals. Essentially the Bangladesh game is a must-win one for New Zealand. The last thing they’ll be hoping for is a washout, which is currently looking likely given the fact that Cardiff has experienced substantial rains in the last couple of days.

New Zealand don’t have too many positives to take from their encounter against hosts England. They leaked 310 runs in the first innings, but in reply, were skittled out for 223. Skipper Kane Williamson was the only batsman who put up a fight against England’s seamers with a promising 87. The Blackcaps will have to put in a performance resembling that against Australia, a game which was unfortunately rained out. Here’s a look at the predicted XI for New Zealand for their last league game against Bangladesh.

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Openers (Martin Guptill and Luke Ronchi)

New Zealand’s opening pair have both looked in sparkling form ahead of the Champions Trophy, by providing sturdy knocks in the warm-up fixtures. However, they’ve experienced a slight slump in their last game and will look to make a comeback against the Tigers. Luke Ronchi, in particular, carried his form into the game against Australia as well, scoring a quick-fire 65.

Martin Guptill, on the other hand, has been his usual aggressive self, and his brilliant 116 against Sri Lanka in the warm-ups spoke volumes about what this man can do. His knack of getting daddy hundreds could urge him to give it the full monty against Bangladesh, and keep his side in the hunt for a semi-final spot.

Middle order (Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Neil Broom)

In both of New Zealand’s games, Kane Williamson has led from the front with responsible as well as aggressive innings. In fact, he has scored a total of 275 runs in his last three games, including the warm-up against Sri Lanka. Williamson’s spectacular century went in vain against the Aussies as the rain had the final say. New Zealand will be highly dependent on their captain to play an exemplary role with the bat.

Meanwhile, Ross Taylor and Neil Broom have both come off a good Ireland tri-series. In the Champions Trophy, however, there’s been a lack of runs, especially off Neil Broom’s bat. Taylor, on the other hand, got off to a couple of decent starts but was unable to convert them into 50s and carry his innings forward. Both batsmen played Bangladesh recently in the Ireland Tri-series and looked comfortable against the Bangladeshi bowlers. Hence they will hope they can replicate their dominance on Friday as well.

All-rounders (James Neesham and Corey Anderson)

Despite being a promising all-rounder, James Neesham has had a forgettable few weeks of cricket. The Kiwi hasn’t been amongst the runs, neither has he picked up wickets on a regular basis. However, he could be given one last chance to repay the faith of his selectors with an impactful performance against Bangladesh.

Similarly, Corey Anderson hasn’t lived up to his tag either. He had a decent outing in the recently concluded IPL but hasn’t been able to translate his form onto the Champions Trophy. He did bag a three-for against England and was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand. Nevertheless, he will need to make a contribution with the bat against the Tigers.

Bowlers (Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee and Trent Boult)

Mitchell Santner wreaked havoc in New Zealand’s first game of the 2016 World T20, bamboozling hosts India to record an unthinkable victory in Nagpur. However, Santner seems to have lost that fizz as the wickets haven’t been a regular feature of his bowling in the recent past. New Zealand will however back the left-arm spinner and hope he provides the breakthroughs against Bangladesh. Santner’s ability to bat can also provide some valuable runs lower down the order.

New Zealand’s pace trio shared 6 wickets amongst them during their encounter against England. The best of the lot was Adam Milne, who scalped 3 himself. On the downside, he also went for 79 runs from his quota of 10 overs. Southee was much better in terms of economy and bagged two wickets as well. Boult went for 56 and had one for himself.

On paper, New Zealand’s seamers look as good as any in the world. They have two bowlers who can swing the ball like a scimitar, whereas Milne can bounce batsmen out. With a little more discipline, especially in the latter half of the innings, New Zealand’s pacers can indeed play a decisive role against the Bangladeshis.

That New Zealand will be facing Bangladesh will perhaps play in favor of the Blackcaps. Not to underestimate the Tigers, but New Zealand recently met Bangladesh and defeated them comfortably in the first of two encounters. A win will be on Kane Williamson’s mind, and they’ll have to get it at any cost. Only with a victory might they have a whiff of a chance of making it to the semis; the result of the England-Australia game has to go their way as well. All said and done, New Zealand will certainly start off as favorites.

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