9 Jul 2015

McCullum staying home during upcoming tour

7:14 pm on 9 July 2015

The Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum is among four members of the New Zealand cricket team's recent tour to England left out of the side for next month's limited overs tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

McCullum is being rested while pace bowler Trent Boult and Corey Anderson are injured.

Batsmen Tom Latham and Colin Munro have been included for the tour, along with fast bowler Adam Milne and all-rounder James Neesham, who both missed the England tour through injury.

The one new face to the ODI squad is leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who has been included for the Zimbabwe leg only, before making way for Doug Bracewell in the South African series.

The Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said the choice of Sodhi for Zimbabwe and Bracewell for South Africa was very much a matter of picking horses for courses.

Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"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," said Hesson.

"But we're unlikely to need a third spinner in South Africa, which is why we've opted for another seamer in Doug."

Hesson said the absence of four frontliners meant new opportunities for several players.

"There are chances there for batsmen such as Tom and Colin, for Ish and for a handful of bowlers," he said.

"And, not least, it's another good opportunity for (stand-in captain) Kane Williamson to continue upskilling in terms of leadership."

However, Hesson said the absence of McCullum, Southee, Boult and Anderson would not lessen the sense of expectation surrounding the squad.

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 (McCullum, Southee and Boult) 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."

The majority of the squad will assemble at a training camp in Potchefstroom before heading to Harare for the opening one dayer.

The tour includes six one dayers and three Twenty20 matches.

Black Cas squad for Zimbabwe and South Africa:

Kane Williamson (captain), Doug Bracewell (South Africa only), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (Zimbabwe only), Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.

Tour Schedule:

2 August v Zimbabwe, Harare, 1st ODI

4 August v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2nd ODI

7 August v Zimbabwe, Harare, 3rd ODI

9 August v Zimbabwe, Harare, T20

14 August v South Africa, Durban, 1st T20

16 August v South Africa, Centurion, 2nd T20

19 August v South Africa, Centurion, 1st ODI

23 August v South Africa, Potchefstroom, 2nd ODI

26 August v South Africa, Durban, 3rd ODI