The chance to earn a place in next year's World Cup squad has been a significant incentive if the New Zealand A cricket tour to England is any gauge.

The A side secured six wins in seven completed one-day matches, including three in a tri-series to equivalent development sides from England and Sri Lanka. Three matches were washed out.

The only loss came in a Duckworth-Lewis resolved match against Sri Lanka A pre-tournament.

A key driver to the 10-match List A component of the tour has been establishing which players can best help New Zealand win a World Cup. Selector Bruce Edgar is with the tour.


Traditional statistics such as averages won't be used as the complete gauge to performance. Players were also assessed on target scenarios within games to see how they coped under pressure.

New Zealand's best result in 10 editions of the World Cup has been six semifinal appearances. A 4-0 defeat of then-world No 1 India in the 50-over format in January is reason to hope for an advance on that.

Few spots look contentious for the Cup squad but an opening partner needs to be found for Martin Guptill.

Incumbent Jesse Ryder's 50-over form for Essex (279 runs at 93 in five innings with three 50s) has been compelling. However, recidivist disciplinary issues might make coach Mike Hesson and captain Brendon McCullum hesitant to gamble on his mercurial brilliance.

A repeat of his and Doug Bracewell's protocol breach before the Indian test in Auckland last summer could derail New Zealand's World Cup campaign.

Dean Brownlie could be given a chance as an opener against South Africa in October, and has expressed his desire to adapt to the role. In England, he scored 235 runs at 58.75 with a strike rate of 108 from six innings at No 3, including 36 and 115 when entering during the first over.

Alternatively, Hamish Rutherford looks more and more a limited-overs specialist and offers a left-right combination with Guptill. Rutherford scored 290 runs at 48.33 with a strike rate of 105, including a 98 and 95, during the tour.

If injury strikes Daniel Vettori or Nathan McCullum, Ish Sodhi made a strong case as spin backup with eight wickets at 28.75 and an economy rate of 5.05. His figures included the best bowling of the series with 4-10 off six overs against Sri Lanka A in Bristol.


However, Vettori recently played 11 matches in the Caribbean Premier League and returned the fourth-best economy rate (5.65).

Captain BJ Watling kept pressure on incumbent wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi with 175 runs at 43.75 and also conceded no byes and took 15 catches across the itinerary.

ODI pace bowling incumbents Hamish Bennett (eight wickets at 22.87 and economy rate 5.20) and Matt Henry (10 wickets at 21.40 and economy rate 4.70) impressed.

Bracewell also presented a strong case at first change on his redemption tour (13 wickets at 16.61 and economy rate 4.90).

Colin Munro and Grant Elliott put in fine middle-order performances but congestion in that area of the New Zealand side means a heavy injury toll would be required for them to feature.

New Zealand play South Africa in a three-match ODI series in October as part of 17 ODIs before the World Cup begins on February 14.

Incumbent squad of 15 used in the India series: Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Hamish Bennett, Jimmy Neesham, Adam Milne, Matt Henry.