New Zealand news January 31, 2016

New Zealand pick spin trio for World T20

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Nathan McCullum is set to retire from internationals at the end of the World T20

New Zealand will head to India next month armed with a three-pronged spin arsenal after offspinner Nathan McCullum, legspinner Ish Sodhi and left-arm orthodox allrounder Mitchell Santner were included in a 15-man squad for the World T20 announced on Monday. New Zealand had rotated through a series of spinners in their limited-overs squads during the recent pair of home series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, though McCullum had not played for New Zealand since the tour to South Africa in August.

"With the Indian conditions in mind, the plan has always been to take three front-line spinners and all three bring something different," said New Zealand coach Mike Hesson in a statement at the unveiling of the squad. "It's great to have Nathan available again and his experience in the foreign conditions will be invaluable. Both he and Mitch Santner have the ability to bowl in the first six overs, which gives Kane a number of options to work with."

Legspinner Todd Astle did not make the cut though after having been included for the three-match T20I series against Pakistan. Astle, who hadn't played for New Zealand since making his Test debut in 2012 against Sri Lanka, was ineffective in the first two matches of the series. He went wicketless with figures of 0 for 41 spread across four overs in the two games and was left out for the final match of the series.

Henry Nicholls, who is uncapped in T20Is for New Zealand, was chosen after impressing with 82 in a Man-of-the-Match performance against Pakistan in the first ODI at Basin Reserve last week. Nicholls will also serve as cover for wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi.

"Henry has shown his talent and versatility with the bat this summer and has also been used as a wicketkeeper for New Zealand A," said Hesson.

As for the injured trio of Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Ross Taylor, all three were picked and are expected to be fit by the start of the tournament. The return of Southee and McClenaghan meant there was no room for Matt Henry in the squad as Adam Milne was tabbed for the remaining fast bowling slot alongside Trent Boult and allrounders Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott.

New Zealand is in a second-round pool alongside Australia, Pakistan, India and the winner of the qualifying pool played among Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands and Oman. New Zealand's first match will be in Nagpur against India on March 15.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on February 2, 2016, 22:59 GMT

    Where is Jesse Ryder? The guy is in incredible form.

  • Bill on February 2, 2016, 7:45 GMT

    @ Johnthekiwi. Well said but truth be told we don't possess anyone near the ability of a Starc. Boult & Southee aren't the dogs you make them out to be, but Matt Henry is not the saviour of New Zealand cricket either. Get real mate. He is years away from proving himself the consistent match winner everyone makes him out to be. I don't see him as anything special at all. Who bowls the best bouncers in the country? The best yorkers? Who gets away swing to the right handers and late in-swing? Anyone? Who swings the ball both ways? Most of the bowlers today can do one thing pretty well. As soon as they stray from that in line or length they get tap, because the modern T20, limited overs player has been given the confidence to go through with his shots, in a way that was unimaginable, just a few decades ago. If players strike rate is high he can be given slack for a below par average. Power plays, heavy bats, and yes shorter boundaries are all designed to assist a batsman, & hurt bowlers.

  • P on February 2, 2016, 3:40 GMT

    With out Henry, Southee and McClenaghan better perform then or otherwise there will be up roar with NZ fans! Good to see Milne and Sodhi in the side as they add something to the team. Ronchi should do the right thing and retire after this.

  • Rory on February 1, 2016, 23:28 GMT

    Rough on Matt Henry, has been one of the better performers this summer. Southee gets the nod with Boult presumably because of experience, but looks a bit out of form. Understand going with three spinners, but not a huge amount of experience there, Nathan McCullum aside. Assume Jimmy Neesh not ready to come back in after injury. Despite being hot right now at home, can't see NZ coming out on top in the subcontinent. Would be nice though, but more likely one of the more local sides.

  • Sushreyo on February 1, 2016, 20:10 GMT

    So at least one McCullum would be there at the World T20!! Hardly a consolation, but better than none....

  • Md Sajib Hussen on February 1, 2016, 18:47 GMT

    Good squad for Kiwis hope ross taylor and southee will be boost for nz

  • Krishna on February 1, 2016, 18:37 GMT

    I still think kiwis are a hard team to beat.Probably a lot better than Australia, SA and England in subcontinent conditions.

  • niaz on February 1, 2016, 18:13 GMT

    NZ is a strong side. But Henry (instead of Southee) and Baz (instead of Nicholls or Taylor or Ronchi) would be great.

  • Rahul on February 1, 2016, 16:20 GMT

    Being an Indian fan I won't be too disappointed if NZ win the wc..

  • John on February 1, 2016, 16:19 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: Maybe they will get demolished, maybe not. T20's are about luck and who gets hot at the right time. Six overs of slogging from someone like Maxwell is equivalent to about 8 overs of anyone else (not named Gayle). WI (15/2) and SL (9-1) seem like great value bets to me and have just as much of a chance as anyone. If India win it all then they hugely deserve it because they will be under brutal pressure home field conditions or not. If they don't then anyone can including BAN.

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