Pakistan in New Zealand 2015-16 January 23, 2016

Munro, Watling return to ODI squad


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Pakistan look to stop the rot in Napier

Colin Munro has been named in New Zealand's squad for the ODI series against Pakistan. Wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling also finds a place almost three years after he last played an ODI, putting Luke Ronchi's place in contention.

Injuries to three first-choice players have depleted the squad, however. Ross Taylor is the latest to be ruled out of the series, after retiring hurt with an oblique side strain in the third T20 against Pakistan on Friday. He will also miss the three ODIs against Australia next month, but the selectors are hopeful he can return for the Test series, which begins February 12.

Also missing from the squad is Tim Southee, whose foot injury has ruled him out of the forthcoming one-dayers against Australia as well. Captain Brendon McCullum is currently recovering from the aggravation of a long-standing back complaint, and will only be available for the third ODI. Kane Williamson will lead in the first two games.

Canterbury batsman Henry Nicholls retains his place in the squad after modest returns from his maiden series against Sri Lanka. Tom Latham fills in for McCullum in the first two ODIs. Mitchell Santner is the only major slow-bowling option. The pace battery consists of Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Matt Henry and Adam Milne.

Munro had not featured in the ODIs against Sri Lanka, but earned his place in the side thanks to two explosive T20 half-centuries at Eden Park - the first having come off 14 balls. He has played 12 ODIs so far, crossing fifty on two occasions. His bowling will supplement New Zealand's seam-bowling stocks, with Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott also in the squad.

"Colin was impressive with the bat during the recent Twenty20 series, but he's also selected on his ability to give us another option with the ball," coach Mike Hesson said.

Anderson is making an ODI return himself, after recovering from the back injury that cut short his mid-year tour to England in 2015. Elliott is in a similar position, having missed the Sri Lanka ODIs to recover from a broken arm.

"With Grant and Corey coming back into the squad, our middle-order has a lot of experience and looks similar to the one we took into last year's World Cup," said Hesson.

Ronchi will only be with the squad for the first ODI, before BJ Watling takes over for the next two. Hesson said Ronchi's exclusion from those games will serve to "give Luke a week off ahead of a busy upcoming schedule", but his batting form has also been indifferent in the past six months. In sixteen limited-overs innings since June last year, Ronchi has made a high score of 37 not out - though he does bat low in the order, and has limited opportunities to build substantial innings.

Watling, meanwhile, has been rewarded for good Test performances - particularly with the gloves. He last played an ODI in February 2013.

"We've talked about the importance of creating depth in all positions and bringing BJ into the side for the second and third ODI will give him some time against the white ball," Hesson said.

Hesson had earlier suggested the pitches for the Pakistan series may take a little turn, with the World T20 in India in mind, but having selected only one frontline spinner, Hesson does not expect spin to play a major role. "With the pitches we're playing on we've opted for the one spin option," he said. "It gives Mitch Santner more responsibility as he'll likely be asked to bowl more overs, which will be a good opportunity for his development."

The first of three ODIs will be played on Monday, at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

New Zealand squad: Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Kane Williamson, Luke Ronchi (first ODI), BJ Watling (second and third ODI), Tom Latham (first two ODIs), Brendon McCullum (third ODI)

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ADARSH on January 24, 2016, 18:43 GMT

    Nathan McCullum has said that he was retiring at the end of the summer. His injury issue is solved.

  • ADARSH on January 24, 2016, 18:43 GMT

    Nathan McCullum has said that he was retiring at the end of the summer. His injury issue is solved.

  • Caleb on January 24, 2016, 10:12 GMT

    @stratocaster Nathan Mccullum is injured, hoping to be back for the world t20. Would like to see 1 Guptill 2 Latham 3 Williamson 4 Nicholls 5 Elliot 6 Anderson 7 Ronchi/Watling 8 Santner 9 Henry 10 Milne 11 McClenaghan. I want Boult to rest for the test matches

  • Stratocaster on January 24, 2016, 7:57 GMT

    Where's Nathan Mccullum, if somebody knows?

  • faiz on January 24, 2016, 6:12 GMT

    Pakistan batting line up is very weak. I don't see them making more than 230 at best.we don't have any explosive batters upfront or at the back end. sarfraz has not done well. imad and anwar ali can not carry the team. azhar is too slow. we need hafeez malik and sarfaraz to fire to reach a good total. with contributions from azhar imad and anwar ali. I think NZ will win easily unfortunately.

  • iman on January 24, 2016, 0:22 GMT

    As much as it hurts to say this, I dont why so much prep for PAK, NZ is going to cruise through this. The team is in disarray with no direction, captain has literally no clue what to do on the field, openers are not even good enough to lay First class in ENG or AUS or even NZ. You cant ride on the back of your bowlers against good teams like NZ. Just tell them to catch the next plane and come back home and dont embarrass us any more.

  • Vinod on January 24, 2016, 0:14 GMT

    @ MICHAEL DICKSON - yep - a season or two in county cricket would do them good, or even in your Plunket shield wishful thinking as the IPL is now the new ist class cricket for these guys, they play so much that there is no time to take a step back and iron those faults-a realy pity....the second aspect is indian pitches-for decades our bugbear-if somehow global warming kicks in with a vengence (as can't see my counry/board doing something about this...LOL) & our pitches get an extreme makeover, people like UY and VA will be flukes produces not 'because' of the system but 'despite' it...any excited seeing the spirit in the NZ camp-biggest indicator is the way they field - you've got some real terrific ones nowadays, hope Milne does not go the shane Bond way and plays tests against Aus-a series am really looking Fwd to ...meanwhile Pak OdI's should be good as well...cricinfo plz publish

  • Yasein on January 23, 2016, 21:42 GMT

    Finallllyyyyy. The day has arrived. I cant put up with Ronchi anymore. Watling will turn this team from a 7.5/10 to a 8.5/10

  • Rock on January 23, 2016, 19:21 GMT

    Pakistan defo needs Haris Sohail at number 3. He is solid, compact, aggressive when required, can hold the innings toghether at least till 30th over if an openers fail early... I hope Haris Sohail returns back asap.

  •   Michael Dickson on January 23, 2016, 16:33 GMT

    @IndianInnerEdge Yes I agree, a decent pace coach would be good. I think a county stint would do them even better though, they'd learn a lot about line and length in those conditions, and being around current and former international players from England, Australia, South Africa and NZ will do them well, as they'll learn from them as well as their coaches and the conditions. It's very difficult for them to manage that though, as the IPL coincides with the dates for a good chunk of county games. Failing that, getting into the BBL might even be an idea, as they'll acclimatise to Australian conditions that way. There are options, but the question is quite likely to be about the feasibility of those options.

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