In that respect I am glad I am not a selector as Trent Boult
, Tim Southee
, Adam Milne
, Kyle Mills
and Mitchell McClenaghan
all have good cases for inclusion.
As for Sri Lanka, New Zealand will take comfort from facing them, as they are a known quantity, following on from the recent series between the two teams.
But, thanks to that series, it is now a case of role reversal from the norm, and now it will be Sri Lanka that I expect to be playing with no fear rather than New Zealand, the traditional underdog.
After all, what have Sri Lanka got to lose? They were beaten up in that recent series 4-2 and that means there is no great expectation on them to do well in the tournament opener.
But with batsmen of the quality and experience of TillakaratneDilshan, Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews, plus the pace bowling of LasithMalinga, you write them off at your peril.
Sri Lanka will know everything before 14 February is irrelevant. And they can approach this match by saying ‘We may have lost a few, but that means we are due now.’ They will also know all about the expectation of hosting this tournament and the pressure that brings – they did it in 2011, remember – and so they can use that to their advantage to find chinks in the New Zealand armour.
It all adds up to an intriguing cocktail to get this great tournament underway. 2015 © ICC Development (International) Limited