Sept 8 (Reuters) – Will Young will have the first chance to nail down an opening batting slot in New Zealand’s one-day team as the Black Caps warm up for the World Cup against England.
Since Martin Guptill’s release last year, New Zealand have struggled to find a replacement to partner Devon Conway at the top of the order.
Though used as a middle order batsman previously, Young moved to the top of the order during the tour of Pakistan and impressed with 240 runs at an average of 48 in the 4-1 series defeat in April-May.
Captain Tom Latham confirmed Young would open when the four-match England series starts in Cardiff later on Friday.
“Obviously, Young’s a quality player,” Latham told reporters.
“He’s been in the mix for us for a long period of time.
“(He) hasn’t had a lot of opportunities but I think the opportunities taken in recent times he’s played really well.
“(It’s) another great opportunity for him to come in and put some performances on the board.”
Latham said the destructive Finn Allen, who opens for New Zealand’s T20 outfit, might also have a chance to open against England, having relinquished the spot to Young while playing in the Indian Premier League.
New Zealand, kingslot96 runnersup at the 2019 World Cup in England, are expected to name their provisional squad on Sept. 11 for the global showpiece starting in India next month.
“Guys are going to get opportunities throughout the series,” said Latham.
“Hopefully they can take their opportunities where they can.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)