Liam Napier lists five things we learned from the Black Caps' win over India overnight.
Trent Boult is world class
Ok, so not exactly a revelation but whether it's sun on the back or wind in the hair, it's always nice to be reminded of just how good you've got it. In favourable conditions, where swing and seam is prevalent as it was at the Oval, Boult ranks among the best exponents. His supreme opening spell against India featured impeccable length. He was near unplayable, with only Virat Kohli able to briefly counter. Now the clear leader of the Black Caps' attack, on days like this it's easy to see why Boult is the world's second best ODI bowler behind India's Jasprit Bumrah.
Opening spot up for grabs
How much faith does Gary Stead have in Colin Munro? Plenty is the short answer. But if the power hitting opener gets a chance and fails again in the second warm-up match against the West Indies in Bristol on Tuesday, surely that starts to seriously wane. We all know Munro's capabilities but his insistence on swinging from ball one – he charged and hit his first ball to the long on boundary against India – is a gamble not returning on investment. More must be expected than one half century in his past 17 ODIs. Against quality swing and pace, Munro's technique is vulnerable. His three-ball knock did nothing to inspire visions of him turning it on anytime soon.
Henry Nicholls is the contrasting alternative, a batsman who attacks with more control no matter where he slots in. At the top he could, possibly, put more pressure on Martin Guptill to do the heavy lifting but he still seems the better option. Stead can also play Nicholls at five or six, depending on Tom Latham's availability and where Jimmy Neesham fits in the picture. Coming into a World Cup with your top order not sorted is a major concern, though.
Matt Henry v Tim Southee
This battle continues. Henry will be unleashed against the Windies after being the only fit squad member not used in the victory over India. The only question now is who misses out. Southee is the likely candidate. His 1-26 from seven overs helped Boult apply pressure early but, in conditions that suited, he wasn't nearly as threatening. If Henry can better Southee's opening outing he could well force his way in to start the tournament against Sri Lanka in Cardiff. For now, it's a 50/50 call.
Mega totals may be misleading
Early days, sure, but suggestions of teams pushing close to 500 may be well overblown. Thus far South Africa have set the highest total in completed warm up matches – their 338 proving far too much for Sri Lanka in Cardiff. England's much-vaunted batting could not chase down Australia's 298 in Southampton, while Pakistan could only muster 262 in their defeat to Afghanistan in Bristol. Throw in India's lowly 179 against New Zealand, albeit on a seaming wicket, and the ball, if not talking this much, could yet say much more than expected.
Tom Blundell gloves up
If Tom Latham's fractured finger does not recover for the Black Caps' opening match, Blundell appears ready to go. Conjecture over his value always seemed misplaced, with Tim Seifert's keeping not yet up to international standard. Blundell bagged two regulation catches against India and, otherwise, had a tidy day behind the stumps despite conceding eight byes – two boundaries – from Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult bouncers that sailed over his head. He will be chomping for a bat after making 77 in one innings against the Australian XI en route to the World Cup, and then not making it to the crease here.