To be captained by Kane Williamson, New Zealand announced their 14-member squad for the first three of five ODI matches on Wednesday. Jimmy Neesham and Tim Seifert are the two absentees from the recent squad which beat Sri Lanka 3-0. Mitchell Santner, Tom Latham and Colin de Grandhomme are the new entrants into the squad in what would be a stiff test in preparation for the ICC World Cup later in the year.
Latham and de Grandhomme come right back in after being rested for the Sri Lankan short-form sweep, while Santner has not played ODI cricket for 10 months due to a knee surgery. He returned to feature in New Zealand’s T20 win over Sri Lanka last Friday.
Tim Seifert makes way for Latham as the specialist wicketkeeper, while de Grandhomme returns in place of Jimmy Neesham. Neesham suffered a grade one hamstring strain in the third ODI against Sri Lanka, and will miss at least the first three ODIs against India, with a future place down to fitness.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead said his squad is a result of juggling multiple objectives – preparing for the World Cup, and aiming for a series win against a high-quality Indian outfit.
“Our two main priorities have been to select and prepare a squad capable of winning what is shaping as a massive series against India, and gathering as much information as possible ahead of the World Cup,” said Stead.
“Tom and Colin are experienced players in this format and will offer quality in their respective roles, and Mitch and Doug showed us what they are capable of during the T20 on Friday night.”
Stead remains hopeful that Neesham and Todd Astle will return to the squad for the fourth and fifth ODI. “We were impressed by Jimmy against Sri Lanka, and are keen to see more of Todd – who has a different skill set and performed well for us last year. It’s just important that, after their respective injuries, we can see them playing again and be confident of bringing them back at this level.”
The series gets underway with the first ODI on January 23 at Napier and then continues to Bay Oval on January 26 and January 28, Seddon Park on January 31 and concludes at Westpac Stadium on February 3.
New Zealand ODI squad vs India: Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
India ODI squad vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill.