New Zealand have been rejig their pace-attack for the upcoming three-match ODI series against India at home following injuries to their first-choice bowlers. Trent Boult (broken left-hand), Lockie Ferguson (right-calf strain) and Matt Henry (broken left-thumb) are all nursing various injuries and have been ruled out of what will be New Zealand’s first ODI series since their heartbreaking world cup final loss to England last year. Also Read - IND vs ENG: Motera Pitch Likely to Escape ICC Ban as 4th Test Strip Promises to be Batting Beauty
In their stead, a maiden call-up has been given to Kyle Jamieson while the duo of Scott Kuggeleijn and Hamish Bennett will be playing in their first ODI series since 2017. Tim Southee will be the leader of their new-look bowling lineup and coach Gary Stead is hopeful they will come good against ‘the very best batsmen in the world.’ Also Read - India vs England: Michael Vaughan Blasts BCCI, ICC Over Motera Pitch Controversy, Calls India Pink-Ball Test Win 'Shallow'
“It’s always a tremendous occasion taking on India and we’ve seen from the T20 series they’re clearly as strong as ever,” Stead said. “Tim Southee has an important job leading our new look pace attack, which has a huge opportunity against some of the very best batsmen in the world. While the bowling line-up has a fresh look, the batting is very settled and we’ll likely have the same top eight batsmen from the World Cup finals.” Also Read - Yusuf Pathan Announces Retirement From All Forms of Cricket
Tom Latham though has regained fitness and will open the innings as well as their first-choice wicketkeeper. Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham and Mitchell Santner are the three allrounders
“Jimmy and Colin continue as the pace-bowling all-rounders after strong campaigns in England and they will offer us plenty of firepower and versatility. Henry (Nicholls) will remain at the top of the order after impressing in the opportunities he’s had. He’s been in good form opening for Canterbury in the latest rounds of the Ford Trophy with a hundred and a half-century to his name. It’s great to have Tom fit so we can call on his experience behind the stumps and in the middle order,” Stead said.
He also provided an update on the progress of their injured pace-trio. “The three players have been rehabbing well but unfortunately weren’t close enough to be considered for this squad. Trent Boult is progressing nicely and we are confident he will be ready for the two Test matches against India. Matt Henry is back bowling at training however isn’t at the point of being able to bat or field fully, while Lockie Ferguson is on track to play in the Ford Trophy for the Auckland Aces in the near future,” he said.
New Zealand ODI Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (1st ODI), Tim Southee, Ross Taylor