No hint of Black Caps changes

9:37 am on 26 June 2019

Black Caps coach Gary Stead is not providing any hints about potential team changes for their Cricket World Cup match against Pakistan.

Gary Stead

Gary Stead Photo: Photosport

New Zealand have played the same 11 in all five of their matches so far, with the side winning all of those games to be on the brink of clinching a place in the semifinals.

The unchanged policy means leg spinner Ish Sodhi, veteran seamer Tim Southee, batsman Henry Nicholls and back-up wicketkeeper Tom Blundell are yet to feature at the tournament.

Asked if they were considering bringing in any of those four squad members for Wednesday's match in Birmingham, Stead kept his cards close to his chest.

"It'd be nice to have them all playing but you can only play 11 and the 11 that's been playing have been doing it really well for us at this stage.

"But again, we'll assess [conditions] out here and if we think we need to make a change, we will do so."

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Victory over Pakistan would guarantee the Black Caps a semifinal berth.

It would then come down to what position they finish in the top four, with the top two sides advancing in the case their match is rained off on both days it can be played.

But Stead said they were wary they weren't quite in the semifinals yet and wouldn't be getting ahead of themselves when it came to what potentially lay ahead.

"We just want to keep playing each game and hopefully get a W next to it at the end of the game and keep improving.

"The next couple of weeks that's what it's all going to be about, is where people finish and who people play.

"But I just want to keep taking it a game at a time at the moment and we'll work out who we play when that time comes."

Kane Williamson batting in New Zealand's World Cup match against South Africa.

Kane Williamson batting in New Zealand's World Cup match against South Africa. Photo: PhotoSport

Meanwhile Stead said they wanted to avoid a ban for captain Kane Williamson but reiterated the team have a good record when it comes to how quickly they bowl their overs.

New Zealand were judged to be one over behind an acceptable over rate in their win over the West Indies last weekend, with Williamson fined 20 per cent of his match fee and the other Black Caps 10 per cent.

Another offence could see Williamson facing suspension but, ahead of their match against Pakistan, Stead said he was confident their last match was not part of a trend.

"You can correct me and look this up but I think [that was] the first time [that has happened] since I've been involved with the team. That might be 20 ODIs or something like that.

"I understand the ICC have got things that they need to clamp down on as well, that's part and parcel of it.

"But we don't want to lose Kane so it's something that we will be chatting about."

RNZ Cricket World Cup schedule.

Photo: RNZ / Suneil Narsai