Brendon McCullum hasn’t batted for New Zealand since the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Boxing Day © Getty Images
Captain Brendon McCullum is on the verge of returning from the back issue that has sidelined him December after he was named to lead a 13-man New Zealand squad for the home ODI series against Australia beginning February 3 in Auckland. McCullum hasn’t played since the second ODI against Sri Lanka on December 28 but is set to play at Eden Park on Wednesday pending a fitness test.
If McCullum isn’t ready by the start of the three-match ODI series, Tom Latham has been named as cover for the New Zealand captain. Coach Mike Hesson is counting on New Zealand’s depth to come through in their bid to retain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy as they continue without the services of Ross Taylor, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan due to injury.
“This is a pinnacle event for us and we’ll look to get our best side out on the park each time we play,” said Hesson. “We’ve been lucky enough to use a big squad over the summer and although we’re missing a few key players, we have guys who can step in and we know are up to the task. The Chappell Hadlee Trophy is something we want to hold on to. The rivalry between these two sides is huge and it’s going to be three intense games in front of some big crowds.”
New Zealand ODI squad: Brendon McCullum (capt), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Adam Milne, Matt Henry
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo