New Zealand Cricket has named just nine players in their One-Day squad to play against India next month and confirmed that the six remaining players will be selected from the New Zealand A side currently touring India. New Zealand will play three ODIs followed by three Twenty20 Internationals.
Although the squad doesn’t have any new faces, it doesn’t wear the same look as compared to the team that played the Champions Trophy earlier in June. Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham, members of the Champions Trophy squad, have been dropped, while Corey Anderson is still undergoing rehabilitation after a back operation last month. In the meantime, Jeetan Patel and Luke Ronchi have retired from the game while Mitchell McClenaghan has opted out of a national contract, citing a desire to pursue opportunities in the T20 leagues across the globe, but could get a nod for the T20I series.
The nine players who were confirmed for the tour were Williamson, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham – likely to be the No. 1 wicketkeeper, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, and Trent Boult.
The New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has stressed upon the experience his core squad has on Indian wickets and stated that was the main reason for only announcing part of the team.
"The nine we've picked have made up the core of our ODI team for a while and all of them have experience playing in India," Hesson was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"With a number of our top guys already playing in India, it's helpful to be able to select the squad in two parts. With six spots left, there's an obvious incentive for the players in New Zealand A to perform and put their best foot forward."
Hesson further stressed that Broom and Neesham were still around on the periphery of selection and hoped that they will come good in the upcoming series.
"It will be disappointing for James and Neil, but we've talked through the areas that we'd like to see them work on and if we see development, they'll certainly both come into the reckoning come the home summer," he reiterated with further words of assurance for the duo.
"Neil was really effective for us batting at three or four last season, but we have quality, established batsmen in those positions and we'd like to see Neil develop his game further to show he has the skills to bat at five. Jimmy needs to go back and really dominate domestic cricket with both bat and ball. We know Jimmy is a talented player, but we've spoken with him around improving the consistency in all areas of his game."
The New Zealand A side are currently playing the first of two four-day games in Vijayawada against India A and will then play five one-day games at the same venue from October 6 to 14. In New Zealand A, there are as many as 13 players with international cricket experience under their belt. Apart from Ish Sodhi, who picked up a fifer yesterday and is almost certain to get a nod for the senior team, the other players with international experience in the visiting squad are Henry Nicholls, the captain, Todd Astle, Tim Blundell, Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Glenn Phillips, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Jeet Raval and George Worker.
New Zealand will play a three-match ODI series and a three-match T20I series against India, set to begin on October 22 in Mumbai. The nine-man squad will leave for India on October 12 and will play two practice matches.
Initial nine-member ODI squad to India: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult.