New Zealand team management has taken a unique selection move by announcing only nine players in their squad of 15 for the three-match ODI series in India. The remaining six slots are expected to be filled by with players from the New Zealand ‘A’ squad, currently on tour in the country.
The squad is looking pretty different which was selected in the Champions Trophy earlier in June. Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham, members of the Champions Trophy squad, have been dropped. Meantime, Jeetan Patel and Luke Ronchi have retired in the meantime and pacer Mitchell McClenaghan has opted out of a national contract, citing a desire to pursue opportunities in the T20 leagues across the globe.
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said that they have focused on the players who have experience of playing in Indian conditions. He said, “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. 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.”
The inclusion of Mitchell Santner is pretty interesting as Ish Sodhi is taking fifers with the ‘A’ squad and is also a prime suspect to get in. Tom Latham is likely to be drafted into the squad as wicket-keeper in the squad.
Talking about the exclusion of Broom and Neesham, Hesson said, “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 further elaborated, “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 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.”
New Zealand will be looking forward to locking horns with the number one ODI side in the world, India, who are playing like invincibles in recent past. The three-match ODI series scheduled to start from October 22 in Mumbai. The partial squad would be departing for India on the 12th of October and would play two practice games before the action starts.
9/15 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.