Rookie fast bowler Lockie Ferguson makes a return to New Zealand’s ODI squad, but two senior players – Kane Williamson and Tim Southee – will be rested for the second and third ODIs of the three-match series against West Indies.
There were no other major surprises. Legspinner Ish Sodhi – who joined New Zealand’s ODI squad in India – makes way for Todd Astle, who returns to the fray after recovering from a groin strain. Batsman Martin Guptill, however, has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Central Districts batsman George Worker will open the batting in his stead. Tom Latham, meanwhile, will captain the side in Williamson’s absence, having already led the ODI team during a tour to Ireland.
Though New Zealand had a long break from international cricket between June and October, prior to their limited-overs series in India, the decision to rest Williamson and Southee comes in anticipation of a busy home season. After the ongoing West Indies tour winds down, Pakistan are due to arrive in New Zealand for five ODIs and three T20s, before England play five ODIs and two Tests to end the summer.
“It’s a long summer, so for those guys playing in all three formats it’s important we keep them fresh and build depth leading into a world cup year,” chief selector Gavin Larsen said. “Tim and Kane will both take breaks during this series, but there will be others who will also rest throughout the season.”
Williamson will also be rested from the first T20 against West Indies. Batsman Neil Broom and left-arm spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner will replace the two outgoing members of the squad for the second and third ODIs.
Astle’s re-selection, meanwhile, is merely a return to the policy that saw him selected before his groin injury. He had taken six wickets at an average of 27.83 during New Zealand A’s tour of India, and had consequently been chosen for the senior team’s tour of the same country. He was forced to withdraw from that tour, however, and has since been in good bowling in the Ford trophy, taking seven wickets in three matches for Canterbury.
“Todd has been one of the top domestic bowlers in the country for a number of years now and performed very well during the recent New Zealand A tour to India,” Larsen said. “He was unlucky to get injured before the Blackcaps tour in India, but he’s continued to bowl well on return and thoroughly deserves this opportunity.”
Ferguson has also made a decent start to the Ford Trophy, taking 2 for 39 for Auckland in his most-recent outing. He has eight wickets from seven ODIs so far, and is reputed to be the quickest bowler in the country.
“Lockie has been in excellent form and we got to see a bit of him in Wellington while he was a part of the Test squad,” Larsen said. “To have him and Adam Milne in the squad is exciting from a pace perspective.”
New Zealand ODI squad: Kane Williamson (capt.), Tim Southee [first ODI only for both], Todd Astle,Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, George Worker
Neil Broome and Mitchell Santner (second and third ODIs only)