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Matt Henry

New Zealand's strength is the bowling group – Matt Henry

New Zealand news

Matt Henry, the New Zealand fast bowler, believes that the secret of New Zealand's success is their strong bowling unit, where each player has a clear role to play.

Henry, who has played 43 one-day internationals for New Zealand and picked up 78 wickets at 26.21, is a part of their ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 squad. Despite his impressive numbers, he hasn't been a regular in the New Zealand side and may well miss a place in the starting XI for the World Cup, but he considers it a privilege to be bowling alongside the famous pace duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

"It is quite a unique situation to be involved in such a strong squad. You have arguably New Zealand's greatest bowling partnership with Tim and Trent. I think it is really exciting to be involved in this group," he told ESPNCricinfo. "I obviously haven't played regularly but it is important to be focused. Keep trusting in your process and training, and when you get the opportunity, put your hand up. The strength of this unit is the bowling group. It is not about yourself but as a collective. The roles are clear. It breeds success."

Henry's strength, according to him, is not raw pace but his consistency, which keeps him focussed. "I am not a raw pace bowler, like a 150kph bowler; more like late 130s, early 140s. Consistency is key for me, so I look to keep operating at the 140kph mark.

"I think my consistency in using my lengths and bumper has helped me get where I am right now."

While New Zealand's bowling has been top-notch in the last few years, the rise in high-scoring encounters since the last World Cup cannot be ignored. Many teams, including hosts England, have a tendency to bat deep and that makes it difficult for bowlers to contain the onslaught in the final overs, when teams usually pick up pace. Henry explained how he deals with such situations.

You have arguably New Zealand's greatest bowling partnership with Tim and Trent. I think it is really exciting to be involved in this group.

Matt Henry

"Teams are batting deeper and deeper now, so you must have options. If they are one-pace hitters, change of pace is your option. It could be targeting them with the heavy length of your bouncers or yorkers. It comes down to becoming a bit unpredictable. If the batsmen get a read on you, it shows the power that players have these days. You can go the distance, even if they are No. 10 or No. 5."

The 27-year-old, who made his Test debut at Lord's, also added that he thinks England is a great place to play cricket and is looking forward to performing in the World Cup. "It is a dream for any cricketer to represent your country in a World Cup. It is an exciting time for New Zealand cricket and for this group of players. We have a lot of depth now. England is a great place for cricket as well."

New Zealand will begin their World Cup campaign from 1 June against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

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