2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Luke Ronchi Caught By Surprise After Being Asked To Open Against India
New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi, who was the top-scorer for his side with 66 off 63 balls, in their first warm-up match against India at The Oval, was taken by surprise after he was given an opportunity by his skipper Kane Williamson to bat alongside Martin Guptill.
“I was a bit surprised when I first found out the opportunity was going to be there but it’s been pretty good,” Ronchi was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
The Dannevirke-born 36-year-old batsman Ronchi has expressed his satisfaction over his performance against formidable Men in Blue as he feels it is always good to be among runs and help the team while giving a decent start at the top.
“It’s been nice to make a few runs and obviously you’d like to kick on. Helping the team get off to a bit of a start makes a difference. Feeling comfortable with the way things have worked,” Ronchi said.
The wicket-keeper batsman, Ronchi who was the part of the Black Caps in Ireland for a Tri-Nation series as he didn’t have much of a success, before he was asked to bat as an opener, in their trial game against Virat Kohli-led Team India.
However, it’s highly likely Tom Latham and Martin Guptill would open the innings for the Black Caps as they have been sort of a regular opening pair in the recent past, who has further scored bulk of runs for the side.
There’s one thing that is pretty clear, New Zealand would like to give Ronchi a chance in the late-order, who further has the ability to strike the ball clean and an added advantage in the final overs of their innings.
“Being aggressive is my natural way of batting. If I can take that aggressive approach to the bowlers, if we can get off to a flier, that’s brilliant, but obviously there’s also chances of me getting out early as well with that sort of approach,” Ronchi maintained.
However, proving his credentials to some extent, Ronchi has been significant with the bat against India’s packed bowling line-up which had further troubled his teammates as they were skittled out for 189.
The team management seems all happy with the opening choice as Ronchi has done to his hard work in the middle order.
“It probably wasn’t vintage ball-striking, I think I was dragging it around a little bit,” Ronchi asserted.
New Zealand has a settled third and fourth position in the form of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor respectively.
The middle-order batsman Neil Broom, who has been made his international appearance in 2009, seems a favourite contender at the fifth spot.
“It’s always good to contribute runs coming in at the lower order; reminded me a bit of my first days in the black shirt,” Ronchi concluded.
Williamson would be further banking on two all-rounders like Corey Anderson and Colin de Grandhomme in the squad.
Ronchi, who has made his international debut in 2008, has featured in 82 One-day Internationals, 32 Twenty20 Internationals and four Tests.
The right-handed batsman has scored 1,316 runs at an average of 23.50 and has registered a solitary century and three fifties so far in his 65 innings of 82 ODIs..
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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