The squad: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
The fixtures: June 2 v Australia, Edgbaston; June 6 v England, Cardiff; June 9 v Bangladesh, Cardiff
Best result: Winners – 2000 (ICC KnockOut)
The talking point: New Zealand’s preparation for the Champions Trophy on paper looks ideal: a tri-series against Bangladesh – their Group A opponent – and Ireland in Ireland which would mimic English conditions to a tee. However, the Black Caps group that is currently playing in Dublin is without regular captain Kane Williamson, destructive opening batsman Martin Guptill, new-ball pair Tim Southee and Trent Boult and four other players who are in their Champions Trophy squad. The missing players have been on Indian Premier League duty and New Zealand are not the only nation hampered by the lucrative T20 tournament, which has seen a host of Australian, South African and of course Indian players remain in the subcontinent while the competition concludes. Just how much impact the IPL will have on the Champions Trophy will be answered in about a month.
The one to watch: If the white Kookaburra ball is swinging during the Champions Trophy then there will perhaps be no greater threat than Trent Boult. The left-armer can bend it like a very famous England footballer and will undoubtedly target the stumps and pads of his top-order opponents. Boult was the equal leading wicket-taker in the 2015 Cricket World Cup alongside fellow southpaw seamer Mitchell Starc and expect those two feature prominently during the tournament.
The pressure is on: Corey Anderson, on his day, is one of the best linted-overs allrounders in the world. He can be devastating with the bat and is closer to full-time employment than part-time with the ball. But the 26-year-old’s IPL season with Delhi Daredevils was not ideal. In 11 innings, the left-hander scored 142 runs at a strike rate of 115 and claimed just three wickets. Mike Hussey was in India commentating the IPL and says Anderson will benefit from his time in Delhi and if he can gather some confidence he could be a key player for the Kiwis. "Anderson’s been battling a back injury the past year or so but it seems like he’s getting back to fitness," Hussey told cricket.com.au. "He’s a really handy allrounder because he’s very dangerous at the back end with the bat; he’s got enormous power and can be very difficult to bowl to. He’s also a very handy bowler as well. He picks up wickets and bowls at difficult times. If he’s fully fit and has got his confidence up – it will be good that he’s been playing in the IPL in pressure situations, getting his skills up to speed – he could be a real asset for them."
Mike Hussey’s verdict: New Zealand are always a pretty well-drilled one-day team with a class player in Williamson leading the show. You expect Williamson to score runs all the time he’s that good. Guptill, in one-day cricket, has been outstanding for a few years now. It all depends on the conditions and the conditions could really suit the Kiwis. Guys like Tim Southee and Trent Boult, who can swing the ball around corners, if they get into seamer-friendly conditions they could be a real handful.
Champions Trophy 2017 Guide
Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh.
Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.
26 May – Australia v Sri Lanka, The Oval
27 May – Bangladesh v Pakistan, Edgbaston
28 May – India v New Zealand, The Oval
29 May – Australia v Pakistan, Edgbaston
30 May – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston
30 May – Bangladesh vs India, The Oval
1 June – England v Bangladesh, The Oval (Day)
2 June – Australia v New Zealand, Edgbaston (D)
3 June – Sri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval (D)
4 June – India v Pakistan, Edgbaston (D)
5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, The Oval (D/N)
6 June – England v New Zealand, Cardiff (D)
7 June – Pakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston (D/N)
8 June – India v Sri Lanka, The Oval (D)
9 June – New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)
10 June – England v Australia, Edgbaston (D)
11 June – India v South Africa, The Oval (D)
12 June – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)
14 June – First semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff (D)
15 June – Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)
18 June – Final, The Oval (D)
19 June – Reserve day (D)