Cricket World Cup: Predicting the 2023 Black Caps squad

9:49 am on 17 July 2019

Analysis - With Monday's result in the past, RNZ is peering into its crystal ball to pick the Black Caps squad for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.

Dejected New Zealand captain Kane Williamson after the game. New Zealand Black Caps v England.
ICC Cricket World Cup Final at Lord’s, London, England on 14 July 2019.

Who will Kane Williamson be leading to the 2023 Cricket World Cup? Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2019

The certainties

Kane Williamson

Arguably New Zealand's best batsman of all time, New Zealand's captain will only be 32 by the time 2023 rolls around and by then could be New Zealand's greatest ever cricketer, ahead of Sir Richard Hadlee.

The Black Caps will no doubt once again rely on Williamson's leadership to guide them to glory in India.

Henry Nicholls

Saving his best performance of the Cricket World Cup for the final with New Zealand's top score of 55, the 27-year-old showed he has what's required in the top three inches to compete at the highest level.

That, coupled with the fact he's New Zealand's best player of spin, makes him a shoo-in for 2023 on the subcontinent.

Read more of RNZ's Cricket World Cup final coverage:

  • Cricket World Cup final - as it happened
  • Matt Richens: 'They'll make a movie about that game'
  • Black Caps lose World Cup in extraordinary final
  • Stokes was brilliant but England lacked class when it counted
  • Social media goes crazy over Black Caps' heartbreaking loss
  • Cricket World Cup final: What they said
  • Cricket World Cup final: Top moments
  • The Super Over that delivered a cruel twist for Black Caps
  • Tom Latham

    While Latham didn't have his best performance with the bat in England, his experience with the bat and wicketkeeping gloves means he'll be on the plane to India.

    Ish Sodhi

    Included in the 15-man squad for their recent cup campaign, Sodhi could be New Zealand's most potent player in 2023.

    The leg-spinner will be New Zealand's first choice option with the ball, with India's conditions perfectly suiting the wrist spinner.

    Mitchell Santner

    Like Sodhi, Santner will be another key weapon for the Black Caps at the 2023 tournament.

    Not only will he be invaluable with the ball - restricting the opposition run rate - his ability with the bat will also make him the perfect fit for New Zealand in India.

    New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson (L) and New Zealand's Ish Sodhi (R) react to their defeat after the 2019 Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand at Lord's

    Lockie Ferguson (L) and Ish Sodhi (R) could be New Zealand's key bowlers at the next Cricket World Cup. Photo: AFP

    Jimmy Neesham

    After the heartache of missing out on the World Cup in 2015 to Grant Elliott, Neesham showed a maturity beyond his years in England that will only get better.

    The 28-year-old finished as New Zealand's third leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 15 and was also the third best batsman for the Black Caps with 258 runs.

    Neesham's performance in the Black Caps' super over in the final also showed he's got the mettle for pressure-cooker situations.

    Trent Boult

    New Zealand's premier strike bowler in England, Boult should find himself in the 15-man squad for India.

    By 2023 though Boult will be 33-years-old, making him one of the oldest members of the team, which could hinder his selection.

    Also going against him will be the conditions in India: the archetypal dusty pitches on the subcontinent won't suit the swing-friendly Boult.

    That said, Boult is one of New Zealand's most durable bowlers and should still have the wiles to make the squad.

    Lockie Ferguson

    Ferguson walked away from Lord's as New Zealand's leading wicket-taker for the tournament and second overall with 21, only bettered by Australia's Mitchell Starc.

    By 2023, Ferguson will be 32 years old and so as long as he can stay fit he may still be New Zealand's out-and-out quick bowling option.

    His only issue will be his fitness, and given the injury woes that have plagued fellow New Zealand quick Adam Milne over the years the Black Caps will want to keep Ferguson as fit as possible for 2023.

    Black Caps allrounder Jimmy Neesham.

    Jimmy Neesham proved at the World Cup that he's capable of being New Zealand's premier allrounder going forward. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

    The probables

    Matt Henry

    Playing in his second world cup, Henry had a relatively successful campaign in England.

    The 27-year-old ended up finishing 12th in the wicket-taking standings for the tournament with 14, conceding 392 runs. He also was one of the leading wicket-takers during power plays in the World Cup.

    Henry did struggle with his death bowling at times, but by the time 2023 hits he'll be a much more confident and experienced player who New Zealand could call on to open with the new ball.

    Tim Seifert

    The Northern Districts wicketkeeper-batsman could be New Zealand's backup gloveman behind Tom Latham in 2023.

    The 24-year-old has played in three ODIs for New Zealand and 11 Twenty20s.

    He averages 16.5 and 20.11 respectively across those two formats at the international level which is modest by most standards.

    However, with a strike rate over 120 in both formats, he'll likely get more game time in the Black Caps over the next few years and by 2023 will have enough experience under his belt to earn a spot in the 15-man squad.

    Devon Conway

    Like Glenn Phillips, Conway is originally from South Africa and could join the long list of imports from the African continent to get the call up to the Black Caps.

    The left handed batsman - who can also carry the wicketkeeping gloves - has a domestic 50-over average of 43.23 and strike rate of 83.39, making him an ideal candidate for New Zealand's middle order.

    He also finished the recent domestic competition as the top run scorer in T20s and first-class cricket.

    Conway still isn't eligible for New Zealand, needing another year under his belt before he qualifies, but when he does he'd have plenty of time to crack the top team.

    Trent Boult appeals for a wicket in the Black Caps World Cup warm up match against India. 27.5.19

    While Trent Boult will be 33 by the next World Cup, his experience would be invaluable in 2023. Photo: AFP

    Will Young

    The 26-year-old right handed batsman from New Plymouth has been touted as Ross Taylor's replacement once the later decides to walk away from the game.

    Young has an average of 36.86 in domestic cricket from 56 matches with a high score of 136.

    He's also played for the New Zealand XI against Australia earlier this year, scoring two centuries and a half century in his three matches.

    The possibles

    Martin Guptill

    While no one would blame him if he decided never to pick up the bat again after that heartbreaking finale, Guptill is still New Zealand's best opening batsman.

    Four years may be a push too far but if he sticks with the game, he'll still be in the conversation come 2023.

    George Worker

    The 29-year-old batting allrounder has been in and out of the Black Caps' frame since 2015.

    With a batting average of 34 at international level and 45 in T20s, Worker would make a handy addition to the Black Caps squad with the ability to roll the arm over if New Zealand get desperate.

    One aspect going against Worker is his age but if he was primarily used as a batsman - particularly an opener - then he should make the squad.

    Martin Guptill at the Cricket World Cup final won by England after a super over.

    A dejected Martin Guptill is comforted by his teammates and England bowler Chris Woakes after being runout on the last ball of the Super Over in the World Cup final. Photo: Photosport / Andrew Cornaga

    Glenn Phillips

    While he's never played for the Black Caps in the One Day (ODI) format, Phillips has the potential to become New Zealand's opening batsman in the 50-over format over the next few years.

    The 22-year-old's average in international Twenty20s is just 15.55, but his average in domestic 50-over cricket is 31.03 with a strike rate of 81.21, which would make him an ideal option to open the batting for New Zealand.

    Phillips has talked about his desire to become a pilot so he could be persuaded to take to the air of a different kind by 2023.

    Finn Allen

    Touted as one of New Zealand's next big things, Finn Allen is a 20-year-old Aucklander with big game mentality.

    He has had success on the international scene already, producing 115 off 100 against the West Indies in New Zealand's Under-19 World Cup opener on home soil last year.

    In the next match of the tournament, Allen scored a half century off just 19 balls, the joint second fastest half century in Under 19 ODI history.

    He ended up as New Zealand's leading run scorer in the tournament, making 338.

    Should he continue on this path, Allen would make a dangerous prospect for any opposition at the 2023 World Cup.

    Rachin Ravindra

    Ravindra, like Allen, has loads of potential. At just 19 years old Ravindra already has a contract with the Wellington Firebirds, playing in five domestic 50-over matches last season.

    The left-handed batsman was named a rising star of New Zealand by the International Cricket Council for his performance in last year's Under-19 World Cup after scores of 117 and 76 in the group stages.

    Kyle Jamieson

    Canterbury quick Kyle Jamieson is establishing himself as one of domestic cricket's top bowlers.

    At 24, he already has four five-wicket bags to his name, as well as a 10-wicket haul in first-class cricket. Last season Jamieson finished the domestic competition as the top wicket-taker.

    It also turns out Jamieson can bat - playing against England last year in an unofficial warm-up match he scored a century off 110 balls batting at number eight.

    Mark Chapman

    Chapman has played three ODIs for New Zealand and two for Hong Kong in his international career, averaging 40 across the two teams with the bat and a high score of 124 (124 for Hong Kong against the UAE).

    Chapman has played for New Zealand since 2018 and if he's given more of a chance to show his worth, he could well find himself in the mix in 2023.

    Canterbury Kings Kyle Jamieson celebrates a wicket during the Burger King Super Smash game between Auckland Aces vs Canterbury Kings.

    Canterbury quick Kyle Jamieson has a bright future ahead of him. Photo: Photosport

    The unlikelies

    Ross Taylor

    By 2023, Taylor will be 39 years old and most likely already retired.

    Tim Southee

    Southee is also be getting on in age and only managed to make the match day XI once during the recent World Cup, mainly due to injury. Another one appears out of reach.

    Colin de Grandhomme

    Like the others, time is against de Grandhomme.

    Colin Munro

    Adding to the fact he's getting on in age is the fact he never really found form with the bat when he did play in this recent tournament.

    Tom Blundell

    While younger than the rest of the guys in this category, Blundell may find it hard to make his way into the side going forward with so many wicketkeeping options available.

    Ross Taylor at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

    This world cup will likely be Ross Taylor's last. Photo: AFP

    Dane Cleaver

    The 27-year-old right-handed batsman from Palmerston North has shown moments of brilliance at domestic level with a top score of 124.

    However, the cousin of Kane Williamson has been in and out of the domestic scene since 2011 so will require more consistency if he's to get the Black Caps selectors' attention.

    Tom Bruce

    A possible option at the top order, Bruce has played 14 T20s for New Zealand with an average of 18 and a top score of 59.

    The 27-year-old Te Kuiti product has an average of 34 in domestic 50-over cricket with one century to his name in 35 matches. If he's to crack the national ODI side he'll need to find more consistency.

    RNZ's possible Black Caps squad for the 2023 World Cup (in no particular order)

    Kane Williamson

    Henry Nicholls

    Tom Latham

    Ish Sodhi

    Mitchell Santner

    Jimmy Neesham

    Matt Henry

    Lockie Ferguson

    Trent Boult

    Devon Conway

    Martin Guptill

    Will Young

    Tim Seifert

    Finn Allen

    Rachin Ravindra

    - RNZ's talent scouts included Ben Strang, Max Towle and Brenton Vanisselroy.