Cricket World Cup 2019: T20 form no guarantee of Colin Munro's selection

Colin Munro's power game excites Blackcaps coach Gary Stead, but it might not be enough to earn the left-hander a World Cup spot.

The 31-year-old batsman scored a 40-ball 73 in New Zealand’s final T20 against India in a man-of-the-match performance.

But converting his tremendous 20-over form into better ODI results has raised eyebrows for the NZ selectors with the World Cup just three months.

Despite a T20 world batting ranking of two, Munro has struggled to adapt his dashing style to the 50-over game and was replaced by Henry Nicholls during this month's Indian series.

Through 50 ODI's, Munro averages 25.28, with seven fifties and a highest score of 87. His strike-rate of 105.46 is world class for an international opening batsman, but mixed results have left the selectors looking at other alternatives.

Nicholls will open the first two ODI's against Bangladesh, alongside established Martin Guptill, while Munro will likely reclaim the spot when he replaces a resting Kane Williamson for the final match of the series.

Coach Stead was mightily impressed with Munro during the T20 series win, but admits his place in the ODI setup is at risk.

"We are giving Henry a go in the first two matches, as we want to see more from him," Stead noted. "It's good to have those options as we look ahead to future selections.

"When we get to the World Cup, we will make those decisions on who we think makes up the right team to play. All we are trying to do is cover our options at this stage.

"We like what we saw in Henry Nicholls, but at times, we have liked what we saw in Colin Munro as well.

"I hope we can continue to look at current form and where people are at. I hope they both make it tough for us."

Stead acknowledged Munro's match-winning ability would be hard to resist, if he could find the balance between aggression and defence.

Munro has thrived at the top of the order in the shortest form, averaging 33.59, with nine fifties and three hundreds. Stead believes those numbers prove just how good Munro is.

"Colin showed how devastating he can be," Stead said. "There has been a bit of speculation about his place going forward in this team, but [Sunday] night he showed what he is capable of.

"He's ranked number two in the world in T20 cricket, so when you have someone that can be destructive like that, you're glad he is on your team."

With a World Cup looming, the Blackcaps have just three matches left to figure out their ODI identity. After a whitewash of Sri Lanka, serious questions were asked of the side during the 4-1 loss to India.

Veteran seam bowler Tim Southee didn't feature, Martin Guptill struggled with form and injury, Ish Sodhi lost his place to Todd Astle, and there was a merry-go-round of all-rounders Colin de Grandhomme, Doug Bracewell and James Neesham.

Stead admits they got a lot wrong against India, but is confident they have the right gameplan to thrive at the World Cup.

"We've had similar plans throughout ODI cricket, from the time I started until now," Stead said.

"We didn't necessarily execute those plans well against India. We need to be clear on what we are trying to achieve.

"We need to put the opposition aside and show the way we want to play cricket, and getting out there and doing just that."

The Blackcaps open the series against Bangladesh in Napier on Wednesday.


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