New Zealand's 3 best players from the 2019 World Cup who won't feature in 2023

New Zealand v England - ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019
The Kiwis celebrate a wicket during the 2019 World Cup final. (Pic: Getty Images)

New Zealand are taking on England in the opening match of the ICC ODI 2023 World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday. This is a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final played at Lord’s. While both the match and the Super Over ended in a tie, England were declared winners on the boundary-count rule.

The Kiwis were brilliant in the 2019 World Cup held in England, winning five of their first six matches. Out of those six games, the match against India in Nottingham was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain. New Zealand began their campaign with a 10-wicket thumping of Sri Lanka and went on to register wins against Bangladesh, Afghanistan, South Africa, and West Indies.

New Zealand subsequently lost three matches in a row, going down to Pakistan, Australia and England. However, they picked themselves up and stunned India in the semifinals by 18 runs. They were unlucky not to lift their maiden title due to the boundary count rule, which decided the winner.

A few players who played significant roles for New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup are not part of the 2023 edition. Here’s a look.


#1 Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor played a key role in New Zealand reaching the final in 2019. (Pic: Getty Images)
Ross Taylor played a key role in New Zealand reaching the final in 2019. (Pic: Getty Images)

Ross Taylor was a key member of the New Zealand team that finished runners-up in the 2019 edition. The retired batter played nine innings for the Kiwis in the previous World Cup, contributing 350 runs at an average of 38.88 and a strike rate of 75.26, with three half-centuries along the way.

Taylor’s best of 82 came off 91 balls against Bangladesh at The Oval. The former Kiwi skipper also contributed 48 off 52 against Afghanistan in Taunton and 69 off 95 versus West Indies in Manchester.

Taylor’s most significant contribution, however, came in the semifinals against India in Manchester. New Zealand had gotten off to a slow start and were 69/2 in the 19th over. However, Taylor (74 off 90) and skipper Kane Williamson (67 off 95) lifted their team, adding a crucial 65 runs for the third wicket.

Taylor was New Zealand’s top scorer in the innings, hitting three fours and a six in his 130-minute stay before getting run out. The Kiwis ended up posting a competitive 239/8 after winning the toss and batting first.

Matt Henry then claimed 3/37 as India folded up for 221 and were knocked out of the World Cup.


#2 Colin de Grandhomme

Colin de Grandhomme made some impressive contributions in the 2019 World Cup. (Pic: Getty Images)
Colin de Grandhomme made some impressive contributions in the 2019 World Cup. (Pic: Getty Images)

All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme was one of the unsung heroes of New Zealand’s 2019 World Cup campaign, chipping in with both the bat and ball. The right-handed batter contributed 190 runs in eight innings at a strike rate of 100.52, with two half-centuries to his name.

De Grandhomme scored a breezy 60 off 47 balls in a match against South Africa in Birmingham. His knock featured five fours and two sixes as the Kiwis chased down 243 in 48.3 overs. De Grandhomme added 91 runs for the sixth wicket with skipper Williamson (106* off 138).

The all-rounder’s second half-century of the 2019 World Cup came against Pakistan in Birmingham. He struck 64 off 71 with the help of six fours and a six. De Grandhomme and James Neesham (97 off 112) helped the Kiwis recover from 83/5 to finish on 237/6 after they won the toss and batted first. The performances were in vain, though, Babar Azam struck an unbeaten 101 to lift Pakistan to a comprehensive victory.

With his medium pace, De Grandhomme claimed six wickets at an average of 35.33. He bowled an economical spell in the final, registering figures of 1/25 in 10 overs, which included two maidens.


#3 Henry Nicholls

Henry Nicholls hit a hard-fought fifty in the 2019 World Cup final. (Pic: Getty Images)019
Henry Nicholls hit a hard-fought fifty in the 2019 World Cup final. (Pic: Getty Images)019

It wouldn’t be ideal to call Henry Nicholls one of the best performers for New Zealand in the 2019 team. But he makes the cut since the likes of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro struggled. The southpaw, who recently featured in the ODI series against England and Bangladesh, played four matches in the 2019 World Cup, scoring 91 runs at an average of 22.75.

The 31-year-old was dismissed for 8 and 0 against Australia and England, respectively, in the league stage. He contributed a steady 28 off 51 balls in the semi-final against the Indians, adding 68 for the second wicket with Williamson after the early loss of Guptill.

Nicholls, however, reserved his best for the final. He top-scored for his side with 55 off 77 balls, hitting four fours, as New Zealand put up 241/8 after winning the toss and batting first. With some better luck, the knock could have been part of a special World Cup-winning effort.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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