McCullum backs Ronchi in Kiwi opening role for 'Champions Trophy and beyond'

Wellington, June 14 (ANI): New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has given his backing for to player Luke Ronchi for the opener role for the ICC Champions Trophy and beyond.

New Zealand headed to Cardiff last night, scene of their one-wicket thriller against Sri Lanka, to prepare for Sunday's critical Champions Trophy match against England after they shared the points with Australia at a rain-washed Edgbaston game, Stuff.co.nz reports.

According to the report, New Zealand potentially faces a must-win against the hosts to book their fifth consecutive semi-final appearance at a world 50-over tournament, depending on the overnight result between England and Sri Lanka.

The report further said that although Martin Guptill has missed out twice in as many Champions Trophy innings, despite back-to-back centuries, it is the form of his opening partner Ronchi which is concerning as he is a manufactured opener and the middle order appears a more comfortable fit than facing the new ball.

However, McCullum, who knows the wicketkeeper-opener role inside out, gave Ronchi his backing for Cardiff and beyond, saying that although Ronchi is disappointed that he has not got any big scores yet, he is experienced, along with being a good keeper, and is also a valuable member of the team.

Defending Ronchi's position, McCullum said that Ronchi's role at the top of the order is to get them away to a quick start cheaply, adding that he is confident that Ronchi is going to tear a team apart as well given that he has got a big part to play in the coming games. (ANI)

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