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Glenn Philips sees no problem with “only” 15-member squad

Last updated on 02 Nov 2023 | 06:14 AM
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Glenn Philips sees no problem with “only” 15-member squad

After a slew of injuries on Thursday, New Zealand were left with exactly 11 players during the clash against South Africa

Kane Williamson and Mark Chapman are out injured. Tim Southee missed the major part of the World Cup with a hand injury. And if that was not enough, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, and James Neesham suffered blows during the course of the game to leave New Zealand with exactly 11 players. That was never an ideal situation for a team far away from home because of which a replacement may not be as straightforward as it is for Asian nations. 

However, that doesn’t concern Glenn Phillips that much. Even though New Zealand suffered a demoralizing loss at the hands of South Africa in Pune on Wednesday, Phillips stated that a 15-man squad is still an ideal size, even for a tournament of this scale.

“No, I think a squad of 15 is perfect. We're close enough anywhere in the world to fly someone in at any stage if you really absolutely need to. But you've got 15 players in a squad for a reason, and if someone goes down, you try and cover your bases, and then obviously, with rules and regulations, being able to bring someone in if someone has an injury concern, is I think it's the format is good as it is,” Glenn Phillips, who scored a valiant 60 runs, said in the post-match press conference.

It was surprising to see New Zealand batted first in Pune, especially knowing the kind of dominance the Saffers have shown in the ongoing tournament. Dew was a factor for the Kiwis to decide on bowling first, and Phillips doesn’t have any regret for his team’s decision, knowing they had it in them to restrict the Proteas to a lower total.

“At the end of the day, we chose to do a toss what we thought was best on this pitch with the information that's been given, and that's what we go by every game. Obviously, South Africa are incredibly strong batting first, but we've got an incredibly good bowling lineup and there was no reason that we couldn't have restricted them to a total that could have been a lot easier to chase on there. Playing on at the end, I definitely thought it got better as well. So, I think had things gone slightly differently, we could definitely have come a lot closer than we did today,” the 26-year-old stated.

In the previous game against Australia in Dharamsala, Travis Head and David Warner forged a strong partnership up top. In Pune, it was Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen, as the duo ensured that there was no shortage of fireworks. Has not taking enough wickets in the middle overs been the reason behind New Zealand’s consecutive losses?

“Obviously, it's very different from the two situations where Travis [Head] and Davy [Warner] got off to an absolute flyer, whereas we kept things under control. I think South Africa understood that they were probably a little bit behind the run rate, and they obviously came a little bit hotter through the middle, and with the pitch not necessarily offering too much turn for the spinners strangling them in the middle became a little bit tough. But we mixed with our plans, we tried our very best to contain them, but when you get two guys on a heater, it's pretty good,” the South Africa-born all-rounder added.

With three consecutive losses, New Zealand are now looking at a potential elimination unless they step up their game against Pakistan. A win there will help them move away from the chasing pack and potentially ward off the threat that is Pakistan.

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