Liam Napier lists five things we learned from Black Caps & # 39; victory over India overnight.
Trent Boult is world class
Okay, so not exactly a revelation, but if it's sun on your back or the wind in your hair, it's always nice to be reminded of how good you are. Under favorable conditions, where swing and seam are common as in Oval, Boult ranks among the best exponents. His highest opening game against India contained impeccable length. He was almost unplayable, with only Virat Kohli able to briefly counteract. Now the clear leader of Black Cap's attack, on days like this it is easy to see why Boult is the world's second best ODI bowler behind India's Jasprit Bumrah.
Opening place up to grip
How much faith does Gary Stead have in Colin Munro? Lots are the short answer. But if the powerful opener gets a chance and fails again in the second warm-up match against the West Indies in Bristol on Tuesday, it really begins to decline. We all know Munro's abilities but his insistence on swinging from ball one – he loads and beats his first ball to the long border with India – is a game that doesn't return on the investment. More than expected than half a century in his past 17 ODIs. Towards quality swing and pace, Munro's technology is vulnerable. His trumpet did nothing to inspire his visions to turn it anytime soon.
Henry Nicholls is the contrasting option, a batsman who attacks with more control no matter where he enters. At the top, he might put more pressure on Martin Guptill to make the heavy lifting, but he still seems to be the better option. The city can also play Nicholls at five or six, depending on Tom Latham's availability and where Jimmy Neesham fits into the picture. However, getting into a world cup with your top order not sorted is a big problem.
Matt Henry v Tim Southee
This fight continues. Henry will be released to Windies after being the only suitable squad member who was not used to victory over India. The only question now is who is missing. Southee is the likely candidate. His 1-26 from seven islands helped Boult to pressure early, but in conditions that suited him he was not nearly as threatening. If Henry could improve Southe's opening excursion, he could force himself to start the tournament against Sri Lanka in Cardiff. For now, it's a 50/50 call.
Mega totals can be misleading
Early days, surely, but proposals for teams that hit nearly 500 may be well overblown. So far, South Africa has set the highest sum in the finished heat fight – their 338 proves too much for Sri Lanka in Cardiff. England's prized batting could not chase down Australia's 298 in Southampton, while Pakistan could only paint 262 in its defeat to Afghanistan in Bristol. Throw in India's low 179 against New Zealand, albeit on a stitching wicket, and the ball, if it doesn't talk so much, could still say much more than expected.
Blank Blundell gloves up
If Tom Latham's crack finger does not recover for the Black Cap opening match, Blundell looks ready to go. Exploration over his value always seemed misplaced, with Tim Seifert's attitude not yet up to international standards. Blundell bagged two regulations prisoners against India and otherwise had a tidy day behind the stumps even though they assigned eight cities – two borders – from Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult bouncers who sailed over his head. He will be chomping for a bats after making 77 in one innings against the Australian XI on his way to the World Cup, and not doing so this week.