Newshub Roundtable: Who can pack their bags for the Blackcaps' Cricket World Cup squad

After trouncing Sri Lanka in last month's international one-day series, the Blackcaps seemed right on track with their preparation for the Cricket World Cup later this year.

What a difference a couple of weeks can make.

Now, after being clinically dismantled by a (mostly) under-strength Indian outfit, the selectors are picking through the rubble to find candidates with their reputations still intact.

Our Newshub cricket tragics are happy to help answer some of the burning questions that face them. 

Ollie Ritchie, Newshub sport reporter

Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry

Colin Munro retains his place for two reasons...

-    When he finds his rhythm, he is far too destructive to leave out, and can easily be the difference between the Blackcaps making 250 and 330-plus.

-    While they tinkered with the idea of Henry Nicholls opening, it's far too late in the piece to be changing things up. If that was a serious option, it needed to happen sooner.

The selection of Corey Anderson may be an unpopular one, but when he's on, he is one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket. He hasn't done it for a while, but he's one good knock away from doing it again.

Colin de Grandhomme has simply performed too poorly for too long to warrant taking one of the 15 spots, so Jimmy Neesham gets the role as first-choice all-rounder.

Lockie Ferguson does offer express pace, but he ultimately hasn't done enough to say to the selectors "you must pick me" and force a guy like Matt Henry out of the squad. He absence also allows the selectors the flexibility of picking Doug Bracewell as another all-round option.

Tom Latham is first choice wicket-keeper, with Nicholls the backup.

Corey Anderson.
Corey Anderson. Photo credit: Photosport

Luke Robinson, Newshub digital sport producer

Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme,  Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson

I'm going with a group of players I think can win - a mix of six batsmen, five bowlers and four all-rounders.

There's a whole lot of experience in here, with batters who have performed in England and bowlers who will pick up wickets.

The batsmen pick themselves, with the exception of Munro, but no-one else is knocking the door down to replace him. Guptill has proved himself in England and Williamson's lack of form doesn't bother me one bit.

The bowlers are an interesting issue. 

The way Lockie Ferguson performed in the ODI series against India was worrying. His around-the-wicket short ball just doesn't work against quality players, but he will be on the plane due to his pace.

Tim Seifert, Todd Astle and BJ Watling all miss out. I think Henry Nicholls will spend some time keeping against Bangladesh and if he isn't capable of being the back-up wicketkeeper, Seifert will replace on all-rounder on the plane - likely de Grandhomme.

Colin de Grandhomme in action.
Colin de Grandhomme in action. Photo credit: Getty

Andrew Gourdie, Newshub sport presenter

Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tim Siefert (wk) Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle,  Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson

Several factors contributed to the Blackcaps' success at the 2015 World Cup, but above all else, the balance of the first XI made them such a force on home turf. 

It had experience, explosive hitting at the top and middle of the batting order, variety at the bowling crease, left-hand/right-hand combinations with bat and ball, swing, pace, spin. It was as close to a perfect XI as you could hope for and that line-up was entrusted to do the job throughout the tournament.

When constructing the make-up of this year's World Cup, striking that same balance is less than straightforward.

I love the idea of Colin Munro opening the batting to fill the Brendon McCullum role, but the selectors seem to have run out of patience. Henry Nicholls seems to be the answer and he is extremely talented, but can't be relied on for an explosive start to the innings. 

That needs to be compensated for elsewhere.

Nicholls opening with Guptill shortens batting depth, so Jimmy Neesham's superior average among the all-rounders makes him the premier candidate to sit at number six.

If selectors are considering three spinners for the squad, they'll likely play two in most matches. Mitchell Santner is one and I'll go with Ish Sodhi as the other. 

It's tight between Sodhi and Todd Astle, but Sodhi presents a more positive, attacking option with the ball.

Trent Boult opens the bowling with Matt Henry, whose performance in the fifth ODI against India, coupled with his English county form, has earned him a spot in the first XI.

That leaves one spot free, and it should go to someone who can bolster the batting and offer variety at the bowling crease. Ideally, that's Corey Anderson. 

His powerful striking and left-arm bowling tick all the boxes, but whether he can convince selectors of his fitness is another matter. 

Given that Neesham is the only all-rounder to convince this summer, I'm making Anderson my bolter for the squad and, indeed, the first XI. It's a gamble, but a positive risk geared towards success.

Remember the eyebrows raised at Grant Elliott's selection in 2015?

As for the four remaining spots in the squad, Tim Siefert provides power and a back-up wicketkeeping option. A Nicholls injury could see Siefert open or shift Latham up the order, while a Latham injury is a straight swap. 

Tim Southee presents a new-ball option and brings experience that can't be underestimated at a major tournament. Lockie Ferguson's pace is a point of difference that can't be ignored either.

So, that means bad luck for De Grandhomme, Munro and Bracewell.

Tom Latham.
Tom Latham. Photo credit: Getty

Henry Rounce, Newshub sport reporter

Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tim Seifert (wk) Jimmy Neesham, Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson

With Gary Stead indicating he's happy to play two spinners at the World Cup, Todd Astle is unlucky to miss out. Santner is a must, because of his left-arm variation, while I think Sodhi is more of a game-changer than Astle.

Seifert's inclusion has nothing to do with his recent T20 form - it's all about having specialist wicketkeeping cover if Latham gets injured. 

Having Nicholls as the back-up keeper is too much of a risk, particularly in a spin-heavy environment. Plus, Seifert is a wildcard with the bat, if a change is required.

De Grandhomme doesn't make the cut, because of his weakness against spin, and the resurgence of Neesham and Bracewell.

Doug Bracewell in action.
Doug Bracewell in action. Photo credit: Getty

Michael O'Keeffe, Newshub Sport reporter

Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Will Young, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson

The Blackcaps have persisted with Colin Munro long enough - he has to go to England.

If something happens to Tom Latham, we'll be short of a batsman and that's why I've gone for Will Young. He proved his ability with the bat in the NZ 'A' series over the summer and his versatility throughout the order - including at the top - is a strength.

Henry Nicholls is our back-up wicket-keeper.

There's only room for two spinners in this side, so that means Kane Williamson becomes the third spin option. Ish Sodhi is the unlucky one to miss out and Colin de Grandhomme edges Doug Bracewell despite his career down-slide.

I'm intrigued to see who will open the bowling with Trent Boult. I'd love Tim Southee there, but Matt Henry might be shading him at this point. 

There's still plenty of time for that to change between now and the start of the tournament though.

Newshub.

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