Wellington, Dec 1: New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum and pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee were rested for the two-match Twenty-twenty International (T20I) series starting Dec 4 and the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series starting Dec 8 in the UAE, while youngster Kane Williamson was named stand-in skipper of the 15-member squad.
Fast bowler Adam Milne has been recalled to the squad along with left-handed batting all-rounder Anton Devcich. Bruce Edgar, the general manager of national selection, said that McCullum, Boult and Southee were rested because they had been playing a lot lately and that the board believed it was time to enhance the captaincy skills of the 24-year-old Williamson.
“Managing players’ workloads will be an important part of our summer plans and this is simply an example of that,” Edgar was quoted as saying by espncricinfo. “On the flipside, it gives us a chance to assess and evaluate other players in contention for the ICC World Cup 2015 squad, and allows us to work on some of our contingency plans – such as developing Kane’s captaincy experience.”
Williamson has captained the national side in three previous ODIs and two T20s. The first Test against Sri Lanka will begin less than a week after the return of the ODI team to New Zealand.
T20 and ODI squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Dean Brownlie, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori.