New Zealand rest McCullum and Southee for African tour
The squad for New Zealand’s limited-overs tour to Zimbabwe and South Africa has been announced, reports ESPNcricinfo. Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee have not been included, as they are being rested. For the Zimbabwe matches, Ish Sodhi has been named; while for the South African matches, Doug Bracewell has been chosen.
Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach and selector, said, "We think Ish will be useful on pitches which tend to be slow and take turn, and against a Zimbabwe team stacked with right-handers. But we're unlikely to need a third spinner in South Africa, which is why we've opted for another seamer in Doug.", according to ESPNcricinfo.
Sodhi till now has zero experience playing ODIs for New Zealand, but he has played in 11 Tests and 2 T20s. Bracewell last played in June 2013, and he has played seven ODIs for the New Zealand side.
Adam Milne and James Neesham, both of who were out due to injuries, are now back in the 15-man squad. Hesson said that an absence of frontline players has given a chance to many players to prove themselves. “There are chances there for batsmen such as Tom and Colin, for Ish and for a handful of bowlers. And, not least, it's another good opportunity for Kane Williamson to continue upskilling in terms of leadership."
But he cautioned that this does not mean that expectations from the squad will be any less. "This is a team which has built up an impressive record on the international circuit in recent times and the expectation is that we continue to perform, regardless of who might be missing.
"We were also without some key players on last summer's away series against Pakistan, and still managed to win 3-2 thanks to other players stepping up. Our focus is on continuing to produce strong team performances, rather than be distracted by the presence or absence of specific individuals."
New Zealand complete squad:
Kane Williamson (capt), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler, Doug Bracewell (South Africa only), Ish Sodhi (Zimbabwe only)
Three ODIs and a T20 are are scheduled in Zimbabwe from August 2 and there are two T20s and three ODIs thereafter in South Africa.