Cricket-Balanced New Zealand in good place for T20 World Cup bid - Phillips


FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Men's T20 World Cup Final - New Zealand v Australia- Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - November 14, 2021 New Zealand's Glenn Phillips in action REUTERS/Satish Kumar

(Reuters) - New Zealand's combination of quality spin bowling and sharp fielding gives them a good chance of winning a maiden T20 World Cup title in Australia this year, in-form batsman Glenn Phillips said.

New Zealand, beaten in the T20 World Cup final by Australia last year, suffered an eight-wicket defeat in Kingston on Sunday to be denied a series sweep against West Indies.

However, the Black Caps gained plenty from their last T20 tour before the World Cup starts in October, welcoming back a number of rested key players.

Phillips said New Zealand were spoiled for choice in their attack and their spinners could prove damaging in Australia despite wickets that traditionally offer more for pace bowlers.

"Massively so, especially our finger spinners," he told reporters.

"Obviously, Ish (Sodhi) being able to turn the ball both ways really helps and having a wrist spinner in the side ... is absolute gold.

"But the way that Michael Bracewell and obviously (Mitchell) Santner do their thing it really helps to be able to have that extra balance.

"Going into Aussie (Australia), that is going to be crucial with the bigger boundaries as well."

Phillips said the West Indies had been a useful preview for what to expect in Australia for the Oct. 16-Nov.13 World Cup.

"We've had the ball hold a little bit more especially with that new ball when it grips a little bit so I think it can actually play very similar to the way Aussie will, especially getting later on into the tournament," he said.

"So (we're) trying to take these experiences and use them as much as possible."

New Zealand now switch formats with a three-match ODI series against West Indies starting on Wednesday before heading to Australia for another ODI series next month.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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