Tom Latham, the left-handed opener, is set to become New Zealand’s 22nd One-Day International captain when he takes charge of a new-look side for the tri-series against Ireland, the home side, and Bangladesh, starting on May 12.
Several of New Zealand’s frontline options, including Kane Williamson, the regular skipper, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill and Tim Southee, weren’t considered by the New Zealand selectors due to their involvement in the ongoing Indian Premier League 2017.
Latham was handed over the captaincy ahead of Ross Taylor, the experienced middle-order batsman, with an eye on the future. “Tom has been a leader within the side for a while now and this is a chance to continue his development in that area,” said Gavin Larsen, the national selector.
“At 25 years old Tom is still a youthful captain, but he’s performed the role well for Canterbury and New Zealand Under-19 in the past. With the likes of Ross and Luke (Ronchi) in the squad, there also are some experienced players to help support him. It’s a great learning opportunity for Tom and a chance for other squad members to take on a bigger leadership role too.”
The 15-player squad announced on Thursday (April 6) features three potential debutants and four recalled players. While Seth Rance, the paceman, and Scott Kuggeleijn, the allrounder, were rewarded for some strong performances in the domestic season, Neil Wagner, the recently named New Zealand Test player of the year, is also in line to make his ODI debut at the age of 31.
Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls also earned recalls, after being dropped from the ODI side during New Zealand’s home summer. Hamish Bennett, the fast bowler, and George Worker, the Central Stags opener, were also included in the lineup after having prolific white-ball seasons.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to give new players a taste of international cricket, as well as reward guys who have pushed their way back into contention,” said Larsen. “Scott and Seth have worked their way into the side following superb domestic form over an extended period of time, which is equally true for George and Hamish who have earned recalls.
“Neil is an example of someone whose bowling has gone from strength to strength. He’s performed well in the Ford Trophy when he’s had the chance and also brings considerable international experience to the side.”
Jeetan Patel, the veteran offspinner, who will start his county season with Warwickshire, will join the squad for the final ODI against Bangladesh.
The tri-series will also serve as a warm-up to the Champions Trophy that will be played in June. The players involved in the IPL will join the squad on a case-by-case basis once their involvement ends.
Squad: Tom Latham (Capt), Hamish Bennett, Neil Broom, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Jeetan Patel, Seth Rance, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, George Worker.
Not considered due to IPL involvement: Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lockie Ferguson, Corey Anderson, Matt Henry, Colin de Grandhomme.