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 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