Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has expressed satisfaction over the selection of the country’s 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup 2015 but has said that it would be too early to consider them as strong contenders for the title till the time the first bowl is bowled. 

Fleming said that the exclusion of Jimmy Neesham (one of the great all-rounder’s in making) is justified because his ODI stats last year didn’t merit him a place in the World Cup squad. Neesham played 8 ODIs in 2014 in which he scored only 63 runs and took 8 wickets at an average 55.83 with a economy rate of 7.10- which simply didn’t see him demanding a place in the squad. 

According to Fleming, Matt Henry is the only player who could feel hard done by after missing out the selection. Henry performed extremely well in the ODI series against Pakistan at UAE last year and was clearly in the contention for a spot in the World Cup squad, but selectors preferred the experience of Mitchell McClenaghan and the incisiveness of Trent Boult ahead of him.  

Here is what Fleming wrote in his exclusive column for ICC website: 

On New Zealand’s squad for World Cup 2015: 
It is a nice situation for New Zealand to be in, debating the players who have missed out rather than scratching around for names to complete the 15, and it illustrates depth and competition for places, all of which is very healthy.
On selection of Mitchell McClenaghan and Trent Boult ahead of Matt Henry:
He has done everything asked of him, bowling at a lively pace and taking wickets – 13 in four matches against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last month. You could argue Henry should be in ahead of either McClenaghan or Boult too, but in both cases the selectors have gone with the more experienced player. Like Henry, McClenaghan is a wicket-taker and the fact he has done it before at a global tournament – 2013’s ICC Champions Trophy – has counted in his favour, while the resting of Boult for the limited-overs series against Pakistan in December suggested he was always regarded as a shoo-in. And although his white ball career is still in its early stages, the fact he has been such an incisive bowler with the red ball and is bang in form and confidence has been given real credence.
On Kyle Mills:
That setback (his groin injury) came at a bad time for Mills as it allowed others to state their cases ahead of him but if the selectors were convinced of his fitness, as they obviously are, then he deserves a spot as he has been the Black Caps’ most consistent and highly regarded One-Day International seam bowler over a number of years. Throw him the ball for 10 overs and you know what you are going to get, match after match. The challenge for Mills now is to justify the faith shown in him and get back up to speed after his lay-off, something that can be easier said than done the older you get.

On Grant Elliott’s surprise inclusion:

Elliott has slipped under the radar and to many outside New Zealand he may appear to be a bit of a left-field choice. To the extent he has not been involved since late 2013 he is, but he has performed at international level before, is experienced and has strong form in the ongoing domestic season. He is a player in form and ticks all the boxes.


New Zealand’s 15-man squad for World Cup 2015:

Brendon McCullum(c), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi (wk), Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne 



    While spending good 22 years of my life, I found my passion in India’s unofficial national game, Cricket.

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