Blackcaps vs Bangladesh: Colin Munro to open in 'dead' Dunedin ODI

Blackcaps batsman Colin Munro hits out
Blackcaps batsman Colin Munro hits out against India. Photo credit: Photosport

Recalled batsman Colin Munro will get his last chance to impress Blackcaps selectors, when he opens the innings against Bangladesh in Dunedin on Wednesday.

The aggressive striker has largely failed to nail down his national squad spot for the upcoming World Cup and middle-order specialist Henry Nicholls has been tried at the top of the order, with mixed results.

With the one-day series won and captain Kane Williamson rested, Munro will return to the team and is expected to resume his opening combination with Martin Guptill.

Veteran Ross Taylor virtually confirmed as much to media on Tuesday.

"It is the last hit-out before the World Cup and a chance to try out a few different combinations," said Taylor.

"It's good to see Colin back and he gets an opportunity at the top of the order to stake a claim. Any time there's competition for places, that bodes well for the team."

Over the summer, Munro has averaged just under 28 runs, highlighted by an 87 off 77 balls against Sri Lanka at Mt Maunganui. Elevated to the opening spot, Nicholls has averaged 35.0, including 53 (off 80 balls) in his last outing against Bangladesh.

The pair offer contrasting styles and the selection dilemma is whether to anchor an end, while Guptill dominates at the other or start the innings with all guns blazing.

But Munro's presence - and Williamson's absence - will likely see Nicholls filling another role in the order, slotting into the skipper's spot at first drop.

"That's the thing the selectors have been trying to work out - different combinations," said Taylor, who will presumably fill his customary position at four.

"Kane has played a lot of cricket and needs a break, but injuries can happen at a World Cup and players have got to bat in different situations.

"When Kane got injured in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Henry came in and batted at three, and batted very well, so I'm sure he'll be looking forward to batting there."

The other selection nugget dropped by Taylor 24 hours out from the toss was the likely preference for just one spinner on the University Oval pitch.

The Blackcaps are currently only carrying two in their squad, so it remains to be seen if they give all-rounder Mitch Santner - seemingly assured of World Cup selection - another day off and Todd Astle another chance to edge ahead of Ish Sodhi in the pecking order. 

Tom Latham will take the captaincy in Williamson's absence and seems likely to keep the wicketkeeper's gloves, meaning Nicholls will not get a chance to audition for a possible role as back-up keeper at the World Cup.


Join us at 11am Wednesday for live updates of the Blackcaps vs Bangladesh ODI at Dunedin.


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