Elliott a surprise choice in New Zealand World Cup squad
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Fast bowler Trent Boult has forced his way into New Zealand’s 15-man squad for cricket’s World Cup after outstanding test performances.
Boult has played 30 tests but only 10 one-day internationals since his New Zealand debut in 2011. He has 110 wickets in tests at an average of 27.4 and only 10 in ODIs at 39.6.
But he has become the spearhead of the New Zealand attack, taking 38 wickets in tests in the past 12 months and he returned to the one-day side for matches against South Africa in October.
Veteran seamer Kyle Mills edged youngster Matt Henry to claim another of the fast bowling spots, alongside Boult, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne.
Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who will turn 36 during the tournament and is a veteran of 280 one-day internationals, has been selected but may take a secondary role behind off-spinner and allrounder Nathan McCullum.
Grant Elliott is a surprise selection, winning a position as an allrounder ahead of Jimmy Neesham. Elliott played the most recent of his 51 one-day internationals in November, 2013.
“A lot of bowlers have performed brilliantly for us over the past couple of seasons which certainly made if difficult but we think we have the right mix,” coach Mike Hesson said.
“Our batting unit has good depth and Grant’s inclusion assures us strong cover in the middle order. He brings a lot of experience and his record in New Zealand and Australian conditions is excellent.”
Opener Martin Guptill retained his place despite indifferent recent form — he has a highest score of 58 since his century against India in January — but he has started to show form in domestic matches. Tom Latham, who has recently clinched the test opening role, will bat in the middle order.
Captain Brendon McCullum described the squad as the strongest New Zealand World Cup lineup he has been associated with.
New Zealand will play the opening match of the World Cup against Sri Lanka in Christchurch on Feb. 14.
New Zealand squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson.