New Zealand have announced their squad for the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka starting on March 25 at Eden Park in Auckland with Tom Latham at the helm.
It is a reasonably new-look New Zealand side, with the majority of the players opting for rest or travelling to India early for their commitments with respective franchises in the Indian Premier League, including regular skipper Kane Williamson.
The squad also includes Chad Bowes and Ben Lister as the two uncapped players in the ODI squad to face the Lankans. While the left-arm pacer made his T20Is debut for the national side against India last month, Bowes is the leading run-scorer for Canterbury in white-ball cricket with 359 T20 runs at an average of 39.89.
“It’s always exciting as a coach to have new players in the environment and to have players putting their hands up to be selected again in a particular format," head coach Gary Stead stated in the press release.
“Chad has been impressive for a number of seasons at the top of the order for Canterbury as well as being an excellent fielder.”
“We are set to play 16 white ball matches between now and the start of May, so there will be a number of chances for players to test themselves in familiar and unfamiliar conditions," he further added.
New Zealand have also recalled Tom Blundell and Will Young to the fifty-over format, and Stead feels that the wicket-keeper batter's inclusion in the squad is based on his performances in the last 12 to 18 months.
“Tom Blundell, in particular, is someone who we’ve been hugely impressed by in international cricket over the past 18 months as a leader in the Test team and then domestically with the Wellington Firebirds.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for Tom ahead of a big year of white ball cricket. Ben’s had a challenging time in the past six to seven months, but he’s back fit again, and we are really excited by the point of difference he brings to the bowling group," he concluded.
After the first ODI on March 25, the two sides will lock horns in Christchurch on March 28 and Hamilton on March 31.
New Zealand ODI squad:
Tom Latham (Captain), Finn Allen (1st ODI only), Tom Blundell, Chad Bowes, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman (2nd & 3rd ODIs only), Lockie Ferguson (1st ODI only), Matt Henry, Ben Lister (2nd & 3rd ODIs only), Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls (2nd & 3rd ODIs only), Glenn Phillips (1st ODI only), Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young