New Zealand raised eyebrows with their decision to stick with an unchanged XI for their second World Cup match against Scotland today.

Why not mix things up, get some of the four players who missed the opening win against Sri Lanka in Christchurch involved in the tournament early, went one line of thinking.
Certainly it seemed a good opportunity to give, for example, offspinner Nathan McCullum a run in place of Dan Vettori.

And what about seamers Kyle Mills and Mitchell McClenaghan. There could have been merit in all five fast-medium bowlers having chalked up a match before the third game against England in Wellington on Friday.

The argument New Zealand clearly fancied, however, was giving what seems the first choice XI two games together.


After England, New Zealand have the humdinger game against Australia at Eden Park, before finishing group A against Afghanistan in Napier and Bangladesh at Hamilton.
So those last two matches offer an opportunity to mix and match.

The heavy bandaging around Vettori's calf clearly isn't a factor.

Tournament play is significantly different from a bilateral series.

Different opponents bring different challenges. Unlike, say, a five-game series against one team, where there is considerable familiarity, both with conditions but also personnel, it becomes a horses for courses policy.

That said, New Zealand clearly like the horse they've backed.

The England game promises to be interesting, not only for what happens on Westpac Stadium but how New Zealand choose to play it, personnel wise.

Given today's selection, and assuming no injury issues, a third straight game for the favoured XI looks very much on the cards.

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