Black Caps stars sidelined at IPL ahead of 2023 one-day World Cup … – Stuff

ANALYSIS: As a mostly second-string Black Caps side battles Pakistan in their ODI series, the majority of their first-choice players appear to be marooned at the IPL.
With the one-day World Cup to be played in India in October/November, it’s a frustrating situation for the Black Caps and head coach Gary Stead.
While Devon Conway is excelling for the Chennai Super Kings, half-a-dozen of his national team-mates have hardly had a sniff in the lucrative T20 tournament this season.
That includes test captain Tim Southee, pace bowler Lockie Ferguson, and allrounders Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell.
Batters Glenn Phillips and Finn Allen have managed just one game between them, with teams having played eight or nine matches.
New Zealand Cricket knew the rearranged ODI series in Pakistan was going to take place without most of their best players available for selection due to IPL commitments. The game’s governing body here gives dispensation to its stars to be drafted by and play for the IPL franchises, to ensure they can be richly rewarded while remaining contracted.
But it would have hoped that in one-day World Cup year, the likes of Southee, Ferguson and Santner would have been performing regularly in the high-profile competition – even if simply to placate NZ fans disappointed that their favourites are not currently in the national colour.
Instead, Black Caps supporters have seen their side lose the first two games of the ODI series in Pakistan when fielding a team which may only feature four of the first-choice XI come World Cup time.
Conway has been a star of the IPL to date, amassing 414 runs at an average of 59.14 – with a strike-rate of 144.25 – to be the tournament’s third-highest runscorer.
But the only other New Zealand player to make any impact in the IPL this season has been Trent Boult.
The left-arm pace bowler is not contracted to NZ Cricket but Stead has been optimistic the 33-year-old will be available for selection for the World Cup, as he was for the T20 World Cup in Australia late last year.
Boult has played seven games for his Rajasthan Royals side and has been highly effective at times when taking wickets in the first over of the innings. He’s tied for 12th-most wickets this season with 10 victims at 23.40, with an economy rate of 8.35 runs per over.
But no other Black Cap has played more than three games in this season’s IPL.
Santner, regarded as one of the world’s best limited-overs spinners, has only played three games alongside Conway at Chennai despite some useful early performances.
His economy rate is a miserly 6.75, but he’s found himself in the pecking order behind other international stars Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Maheesh Theekshana in a side sitting fourth on the table.
Southee has paid the price for being expensive in two early outings at the Kolkata Knight Riders – his economy rate is an eye-watering 13.16 – but KKR team-mate Ferguson has fared no better in three outings, taking just one wicket at 96 with an ER of 12.52.
Hard-hitting batter and offspin bowler Bracewell got a late IPL call-up as an injury replacement at Royal Challengers Bangalore and has played just twice.
New Zealand aren’t the only country with concerns that their best players are playing minimal cricket ahead of big occasions – a number of England’s top players have featured very little in the IPL through either lack of form, selection preferences or injuries, with the Ashes test series set to start against Australia in the middle of next month.
Stead will get a chance to field his best Black Caps ODI line-up before the World Cup when New Zealand play four 50-over games in England in September.
Possible World Cup XI: Devon Conway, Finn Allen/Chad Bowes, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry/Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson.
Devon Conway (Chennai Super Kings): 9 innings, 414 runs at an average of 59.14, Strike Rate 144.25.
Mitchell Santner (CSK): 3 games, 2 runs from four balls (2 not outs); 3 wickets at 27, ER 6.75.
Lockie Ferguson (Kolkata Knight Riders): 3 games, 1 wicket at 96.00, ER 12.52.
Tim Southee (KKR): 2 games, 2 wickets at 39.50, ER 13.16.
Trent Boult (Rajasthan Royals): 7 games, 10 wickets at 23.40, ER 8.35.
Finn Allen (Royal Challengers Bangalore): No games.
Michael Bracewell (RCB): 2 games, 1 innings, 19 runs at 19, SR 105.55; 2 wickets at 25, ER 10.
Glenn Phillips (Sunrisers Hyderabad): 1 game, 8 runs, SR 133.33.
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