Having lost the first three matches of the T20I series, there is nothing much New Zealand can do now in the remaining two encounters. They would try their best to win the next two matches, but the focus must have largely shifted on to the upcoming One Day International series, the squad for which was announced by New Zealand Cricket Board on Thursday.
New Zealand’s bowling unit, which is generally led by Trent Boult, has been struggling a lot, largely due to the latter’s absence, and a few other mainstays who have been forced to sit out due to injuries. And, this has caused the New Zealand selectors to completely reshape the bowling unit, giving a chance to an uncapped player in the process.
In the 15-member squad announced, the inclusion of the uncapped player, Kyle Jamieson was the main point of focus. Jamieson was a part of the A team that was playing against their counterparts from India, earlier this month. His performances were decent enough to get him a place in the main team, giving him a chance to make his debut and get a name for himself, in the absence of stalwarts like Boult.
The attack of New Zealand’s pacers would be led by one of the most experienced guys of the lineup, Tim Southee. He has not had a great time bowling in the T20Is and will look to redeem himself in the longer format. Ish Sodhi, who will be with the side for the first match only, will be released to take part in the New Zealand A match against India.
Other inclusions, like Scott Kuggelejin and Hamish Bennett, have been made owing to the problem of injuries that have plagued the New Zealand team. The selectors have also opted to retain Henry Nicolas at the top of the order and for the wicketkeeping duties, Tom Latham, who has just recovered from an injury has been roped in.
The first ODI will be played in Hamilton
The team’s coach, Gary Stead, addressing the remaking of the bowling attack and said that the responsibility of leading the attack would be on Tim Southee. As quoted by ESPNCricinfo, he 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.’ Adding to this, he also remarked that the team’s batting line up is settled and ready for the World Cup.
The three-match ODI series will be starting from the 5th of February, with the first match being played in Hamilton. The second match would take place on the 8th in Auckland, followed by the last match, which will be held on the 11th in Mount Maunganui.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (first ODI), Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
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