New Zealand’s bowling coach, Shane Jurgensen, believes that his team’s final World Cup warm-up match against West Indies will offer his bowlers a stern test – particularly during the death overs. After a convincing win over India in bowler friendly conditions at the Kennington Oval, New Zealand will wind up their preparations for the tournament with a warm-up encounter against the big hitters from the Caribbean Islands at Bristol on Tuesday (May 28).
“They’ll put us under pressure and I think that will be key for us, especially for the bowlers,” Jurgensen said on Monday (May 26). “One key area for all teams in this tournament is how you bowl at the death and limiting those boundaries in the last 10 overs.
“Taking wickets at the top will be a key component but at the back end of the innings you want to not leak too many boundaries and keep scores to a modest total,” he added.
Left-arm pacer Trent Boult ran riot against the Indians batsmen at the Oval and the bowling coach was pleased at the way his premier fast bowler exploited the conditions on offer on Saturday. However, Jurgensen believes that the wicket at the Oval was an exception and his bowlers should be ready to demonstrate their ability in much-better batting pitches through the course of the tournament.
“It was a good start against India but we can’t get too excited,” Jurgensen said. “We need to keep trucking on and working our way through the tournament. It’s a long campaign. Every time we play we need to make sure that we execute in all departments,” he added.
Jurgensen also indicated that Matt Henry, who was an unused substitute in the India game would get to feature in the final warm-up match against West Indies.
Speaking ahead of the West Indies game, all-rounder, James Neesham, believes that match time is crucial for the entire squad ahead of its tournament opener against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on June 1st. “Getting some overs into the legs of the guys that didn’t bowl so much in the last game and hopefully getting a few runs as well,” Neesham said.
“From here on in it’s about making the guys feel comfortable so that we can hit that first game knowing that we can do it. The World Cup is the pinnacle and the guys are really buzzing. We have to keep the excitement under wraps,” the 28-year old added.