Blackcaps vs Bangladesh: Colin Munro desperate to play 'natural game'

Blackcaps opener Colin Munro tries not to overthink his approach to batting, but is clearly struggling with that simple principle, as he pushes for World Cup one-day selection later this year.

The Aucklander starred for the national side during their thrilling T20 series win over India last week, blasting 73 runs off 43 balls in a man-of-the-match performance at Hamilton on Sunday.

But his form over 50 overs has not been nearly as compelling this summer and Munro has hinted his natural game has been reined in by Blackcaps coaches for the greater good.

"In the one-day series, I was probably a bit too defensive in terms of playing my natural game," he told Trackside radio. "In T20s, you've got that freedom to go out there and play.

"It's a lot easier when there's not much hanging over your head. In T20, you can go from ball one and if you get out, that's the nature of the beast."

Munro has been dropped from the Blackcaps for their first two ODI's against Bangladesh this week, but will return to the line-up when captain Kane Williamson takes a break in the third encounter next week.

While that's difficult for Munro to stomach, he now has an opportunity to wield his willow in his preferred 20-over format, as Auckland Aces set their sights on the Super Smash title this weekend.

"It would be nice to be in that [Bangladesh] series and play all three games, and put my best foot forward for selection for the World Cup," he told Trackside.

"It's tough, because I haven't played my one-day cricket like I would have wanted to. It probably sounds like a bit of an excuse, but when you're trying to bat to a blueprint, you're trying to keep wickets in hand and you're not playing your natural game, that's kind of hard for me.

"I've had a chat with the coaches and I think that it's an on-going chat that I need to work on. Obviously, if I want to be aggressive in that opening role, there are going to be times where I look quite reckless at the top of the order.

"But if I can get off to a good start, that helps Ross [Taylor] and Kane [Williamson] through the middle, and generating a strike rate. That's how we get those 330-340 scores at the World Cup."

Munro sees himself as filling a similar swashbuckling role to former captain Brendon McCullum at the last World Cup, where New Zealand met Australia in the final.

Instead, the selectors will persevere with the experiment of playing middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls, with his more conservative approach, alongside Martin Guptill in the opening spot.

"Obviously, Guppy and I didn't bat that well against India," conceded Munro. "We were always two or three down in the powerplay, and when the spinners came on, we were on the back foot.

"Henry's had a good 12 months and it goes on runs scored. He's been scoring and I haven't - that's the way cricket it."

The New Zealand team for the Cricket World Cup will be named after the Bangladesh one-day series.


Join us at 2pm Wednesday for live updates of the Blackcaps vs Bangladesh ODI at Napier.

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