COMMENT

As the test cricket schedule reaches a frustrating end before summer starts, attention will shift towards those in the frame for the mid-year World Cup in England and Wales.

Contenders will have 11 ODIs to make their mark or scratch themselves from tournament selection as New Zealand switches to limited overs plans against Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

Martin Guptill and Colin Munro head the usual frontline batting order with captain Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls, while regular wicketkeeper Tom Latham is getting a rest before India arrive.

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Most of the questions and selection heat will come on the bowlers and a clutch of all-rounders.

Doug Bracewell, Jimmy Neesham, the trio of Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle and Corey Anderson when they are match-fit, and Colin de Grandhomme are in a battle for a couple of spots, while speedster Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry and Adam Milne may be eyeing one place.

It will come down to players' form and the selectors' philosophy.

Do they want batting or bowling all-rounders and is Ferguson's pace important enough against a field of high-quality batsmen?

The selectors will have their plans, and scouts here and in the UK who they can tap into for information about the pitches and the best style of attacks for limited overs cricket on the other side of the world.

They may wonder about risking Latham as their sole keeper or whether Tim Seifert is vital as insurance if Latham is hurt or needs a rest, while consistent runs from Tom Bruce, Will Young or other batsmen in the truncated domestic series may force a change.

Settling on the all-rounders will be the most difficult decision and those who are stronger bowlers will bring a better balance and variety to support Trent Boult, Tim Southee and maybe Henry.

A fit and firing New Zealand side can fill their top order with Guptill, Munro, Williamson, Taylor, Nicholls and Latham.

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Then they need a Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Santner or de Grandhomme to fill the next cabs off the rank.

They can tinker a little with their combinations as they judge the conditions at the start of the tournament where they have an opening run of games against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before they meet the more favoured sides.

It will be similar to the New Year, when New Zealand tee off against Sri Lanka before the heavyweight question-and-answer sessions arrive with India.