Wicketkeeper-batsman Glenn Phillips and legspinner Todd Astle are among the players added to New Zealand’s squad for the upcoming limited-overs series in India. Also in the updated squad are batsmen Colin Munro, George Worker and Henry Nicholls, and fast bowler Matt Henry.
These updates to the squad were made following the fourth one-dayer between New Zealand A and India A – the New Zealand selectors had named a truncated squad earlier, and said it would be expanded based on the A-team’s performances in India.
While Phillips and Astle have already debuted for New Zealand, neither had played ODI cricket. Phillips impressed with a century in the second one-dayer against India A, and might be asked to take up keeping duties in the XI – Tom Latham remains the frontrunner to replace the retired Luke Ronchi behind the stumps. Astle was the most economical of the New Zealand A bowlers in the one-dayers, his five runs in three games coming at just over five to the over.
Munro and Henry are more familiar faces, and could have big roles to fill. Munro is expected to open the innings with Guptill, with coach Mike Hesson specifically having said the side is looking for brisker starts than those provided by the Guptill-Latham combine. “We need to generate a strike rate at the top,” Hesson had said, adding later in his press conference: “The beauty of Colin is he is a boundary hitter. He doesn’t so much adapt to conditions, he plays one way – batting in the middle order can make that difficult, and he has had success since we moved him up in T20s.” Munro will hope to impress in this new role if indeed given it, and finally firm up a place in the squad – he has been in and out of the 15 this year, playing the home series against Australia but missing the South Africa series, then playing the series in Ireland but being left out of the Champions Trophy squad.
Meanwhile with Mitchell McClenaghan opting out of a central contract so he can focus on T20 leagues and having been left out of the squad for this series, there’s an opening on the fast-bowling front which Henry will hope to fill. He had been left out of the Champions Trophy squad himself, so is on the comeback trail.
Worker played in the series against Ireland in May, batting at No. 3, but was also not picked Champions Trophy. Hesson hinted that he too might be an option to open in India, should the need arise. Nicholls, who has been captaining New Zealand A in India, is yet to play an ODI in 2017.
Ross Taylor and Worker will return to New Zealand after the ODIs, with legspinner Ish Sodhi and the big-hitting Tom Bruce taking their spots in the T20 squad.
Gavin Larsen, New Zealand selector and New Zealand A manager, said of the additions: “Todd has been one of the best white-ball players in domestic cricket the last few seasons and he’s backed that up with a strong showing for New Zealand A. Todd brings all-round skill to the squad, quality legspin, is athletic in the field as well as being able to contribute with the bat.
“Glenn has made an immediate effect in domestic cricket and has certainly taken his opportunity over here with New Zealand A, including an outstanding 140 not out. Glenn is an option for us with the gloves in both Twenty20s and ODIs, so we feel we have our bases covered with the 15 we’ve picked.
The team will play two warm-up 50-overs games, before the three ODIs kick off on October 22 in Mumbai. The three-T20 series begins on November 1 in Delhi.
ODI squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker
T20 squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee
Source: ESPN Crickinfo