New Zealand in Sri Lanka 2013-14

McCullum, Taylor to miss SL tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 26, 2013

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor shared a blistering partnership, New Zealand v England, 2nd ODI, Napier, February 20, 2013
Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor will fine-tune their preparations for the West Indies series by playing first-class cricket and a few practice games © Getty Images

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, and Ross Taylor will miss the limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka, which starts on November 10, in order to prepare for the home series against West Indies. Kane Williamson will lead New Zealand in the three ODIs and two T20Is in Sri Lanka. Luke Ronchi and Ian Butler will replace McCullum and Taylor in the squad.

Bruce Edgar, New Zealand Cricket's general manager - national selection, said the pair will not travel to Sri Lanka so that they can have "red-ball preparation" ahead of the home series against West Indies. New Zealand are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is against West Indies, between December 3 and January 15, 2014. This will be followed by a home series against India, comprising five ODIs and two Tests, between January 19 and February 18, 2014.

"Ross and Brendon need red-ball preparation to be at their best for the summer," Edgar said. "Both players are vital to our success and fine-tuning their red-ball skills before the West Indies series starting in early December is paramount."

McCullum and Ross will play in the Plunket Shield, New Zealand's first-class competition, and are also likely to feature in a few games for New Zealand XI before the first Test against West Indies on December 3.

Edgar also said that the board was trying to manage player workloads effectively in the lead-up to bigger competitions, like the World Cup 2015, and stressed that resting senior players allowed the team to develop a larger talent pool in limited-overs cricket.

"This summer we have 37 days of international cricket at home and Brendon and Ross are expected to play all of these, so it's essential that we manage their workloads," he said. "It's important we provide game time to a wider playing group in one-dayers and Twenty20s, and establish a bigger bench of playing experience with the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh next year and World Cup 2015 beyond that."

New Zealand will play the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka on November 10 and 12 in Hambantota, followed by the third ODI in Dambulla on November 16. The two T20Is will be held in Kandy on November 19 and 21.

New Zealand squad for Sri Lanka ODIs and T20Is: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Ian Butler, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Blade-Runnor on (October 31, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

As a Die hard SL fan, I would love to see SL winning on India in SL. I wonder why SL could not win a bi-lateral series against India in SL since a decade. Also I am eagerly waiting for a test series between SL and India in India. SL never win a Test match in India, so SL should win there in India and that would be the day I really feel happy about SL team.

Posted by IndianCoolGuy on (October 31, 2013, 2:19 GMT)

Eagerly waiting to see this series. I think SL fans are already started celebrating as McCullum, and Taylor already missing the series. Their plan should be simple. Make all Spin tracks so that NZ cannot win and it makes a one way contest. So bored to see one sided matches, So bored to see always SL winning spin tracks., Lets hope for sportive fast pitches.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (October 28, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

@ SLslider: Yea I know your Premadasa and Galle are flat pitches. But, atleast you have 2 new fast pitches which offer bounce as I heard. But we have only flat highways. Thats why our emerging players score lot of runs in the domestic matches.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (October 28, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

@SLslider: Think which team is the best in the below scenarios.

Team A: Loose couple of matches/win 1 match witha a greater run rate/win a match with the help of the weather. But qualified for the final and won the final trophy

Team B: Won all qualifying matches, but lost the final (no trophy).

For me Team B is better than Team A. SO, Your SL team is same as Team B. So be happy.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (October 28, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

@ SLslider: Yea Kholi can be a legend in future if he continues to hit bucketful of centuries in flat highways at home. he is a sitting duck in fast bouncy pitches. Worst than Mahela. Whats the point of hitting just Malinga in ODI or T20s? You know what actually this is psychological issue rather than a talent issue. Kholi has taken psychological advantage over malinga since he first start hitting him. Malinga is actually a great shorter fromat player which we never produced in a long time. I know that Kholi can't continue with this for long. Malinga will definitely come over him one day. Ye he might have dented malinga for life. But he can never end the career of Malinga as your one and only Sanath did to our Venkatesh Prasad. I got to know he has applied for SL coach position as well...lo

Posted by SLslider on (October 28, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

@ INDSlider Well about Flat highways... Even BD scored 638 runs in march so we actually offer flattest pitches in the world so our greats can maintain their averages.

Posted by SLslider on (October 28, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

@ INDSlider Don't be so hard on yourself. People don't become legends from the first match. You have some genuine talent. Kohli is a legend in the making. I have never seen anybody thrashing malinga like kohli does. And to tell the truth he has dented malinga for life. And at least you play test matches. We usually cancel the test matches to play ODIS & T20s. And there is no point reaching the finals when you come back with your luggage only.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (October 28, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

@SLslider: I can understand your worry being your Lankans didn't win a major tournament for some time and always get thrashed by us in recent time. You have been a runner up in so many recent major tournaments. Yes our cupboard is bare. Whats the use of hit and miss ODI and T20 cups when we are not playing well in test cricket considering our long cricket history. Do we have true legends in our team like Sachin, Dravid, Sangakkara, Ponting, Amla? Better not to talk about bowling. We always avoide or prune away test matches with the top teams like SA, Aus and Eng. We always love to play with bottom half teams like SL, NZ, WI and in flat highways at home. There is no sign of being a top team like SA in near future.

Posted by   on (October 27, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

What sort of rubbish is this! I wana see my team have the best shot at winning, and this is the way NZC thinks this can happen, by sending home our captain and our best player Roscoe! This is stupid! NZC keep giving me reasons to stop supporting the Blackcaps! Im not watching the Sri Lankan tour.

Posted by   on (October 27, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

NZcricket174: NZ v SL in ODIs - NZ 36 / SL 37 - according to Cricinfo - that's not so terrible a record against SL

Posted by 22many on (October 27, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

credit where credit is due...a good move by nzc...these two guys are better off playing first class cricket at home...good to see Ryder starting the season well and i am sure the cricket lovers of the world wish him well.

Posted by   on (October 27, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Arguably the best players in there team . Clarke cook dhoni the only other exception is Sammy But at least he can bowl a little bit. Mccullum is in the team as a specialist batsman and I'm sorry mate he doesn't exactly lead by example does he.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (October 27, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

Just looks like kane williamson is getting stitched up if you ask me, sent off to lead a team that can't possibly win without its top 4 odi batsmen, he'll get made to look like a fool and mccullum keeps the top job because nobody will think williamson is ready, poor guy is being set up to fail

Posted by lala88 on (October 27, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

Dinesh Chandimal should justify his place in SL squad. Otherwise SL should give opportunity to another youngster.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (October 27, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

Excellent move, but I can't see us winning. Sri Lanka are our bogie team, they always beat us!

Posted by Sinhaya on (October 27, 2013, 2:04 GMT)

@Narbavi, yes true no specialist batsmen but reality is that November is so wet here in Sri Lanka that all 5 games will be a pure washout. Weather is fine right now but the moment the Kiwis arrive, it will start bucketing down. I will be very surprised if just one ball gets bowled in the first place.

Posted by bootlicker on (October 27, 2013, 1:22 GMT)

Will there be any difference in the final result even McCullum and Taylor played series against SL?

Posted by cdublew on (October 26, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

This seems like hogwash to me. A good cricketers performance should not be affected by the colour of the ball he is exposed to at different playing periods. He should be exposed to all conditions and NZC have a responsibility to select and play their best team for all international games. Is this decision going to improve the performances of the McCullum and Taylor when they play the West Indies ? NZC needs to explain to their supporters how they arrived at this conclusion, which seems a bit strange to say the very least!

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

@Campbell: Yeah "that" country which thrashed the Black Caps 4-0 not so while back! So ofcourse it's boring for you to watch such a pathetic team play in the sub-continent where they dont have the quality to pick up 20 test wickets

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

McCullum has become a waste of space in the test team. Just look at his scores in the last 15- 20 tests innings. If he doesn't keep wicket, he can't justify his place in the team. Watling is keeping well enough and doing very well with the bat.

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (October 26, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

this gives another chance to shine 3 seniors. surely they will play all the games.and SL win easily without any prospect /investment to the future.question is what happened after 2015?

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

The most interesting thing about this is the very young batting line up. Grant Elliott clearly has a job to play in there as the "wise old head" to guide these young fellows. The other interesting thing is that Tom Latham has been keeping, not very well it seems, for the As but obviously someone is concerned enough to send Ronchi to the rescue. It will be interesting to see who opens the innings between those two, neither has been successful in that spot thus far and if NZ wants to win, as opposed to getting some batting practice, then Latham will have to play down where he looks much, much better in those middle to late overs.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

ah the needless mccullum hatred. he was average in bangladesh - but who cares. I can only imagine how boring a task it is touring that country and actually getting up to bat there.

meanwhile, his captaincy can't be questioned just because of his lack of runs. he has been a brilliant captain and made the NZ team one that actually has a spine. Taylor on the other hand was too much of a wimp. In saying that, it is lovely to see taylor now scoring runs like the old days.

people hate on NZC - but now our best batsman is scoring more runs than ever before, we have a strong bowling line up for the first time in ages (with Southee back), and we actually set aggressive fields and manage to bowl top sides like England out on their own soil. As far as I'm concerned NZC has got everything right.

Posted by SLslider_original on (October 26, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

NZ cricket board has taken the wisest decision here to leave out McCullum and Taylor before the WI test series. Considering the poor records of these 2 players against SL, this series will add nothing to them except dropping their mental strength if they perform bad again. McCullums averages against SL in ODI and T20s are 17.0 and 17.27 and Taylor has done little better with averages of 23.42 and 21.72.

McCullum's highest averages in ODI against major teams are Eng (38.8) and SA (32.45) while in T20 s against Ind(130.5) and Aus (57.0). While Taylors highest averages in ODI are against WI (61.83) and Pak (40.0) and in T20s against WI (70.5) and Ind (31.33)

So, the biggest worry for NZ on their exclusion is not on their contribution against SL, but the confidence of the team without them. But, this exclusion will definitely be a blessing in disguise which preserve their mental strength, form and confidence.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

I wonder if its a move to give Williamson abit of captaincy experience .. Mccullum is on the ropes!

Posted by waitara on (October 26, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Excellent move. Bruce Edgar is quickly fixing the biggest problem NZ cricket has - top players not playing enough first class cricket (which is the reason we are failing in the test arena). We have always been good at the shorter forms, so what's the worry? Ronchi has been in superb form.

Posted by Narkovian on (October 26, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

Something HAS to be done about all these completely needless tours ( except of course to line someone's pockets perhaps?!) It is fast becoming the norm to send a 2ndXI on ODI tours. ENG/AUS this summer was a case in point. Why should fans pay full price to watch second rate players. We are being ripped off. The answer is have fewer tours. This constant merry-go-round of meaningless International matches is boring. Now even the players can't be bothered to turn up. So why should we?

Posted by CricketChat on (October 26, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

With these missing, whatever fire power NZ has, has been taken out. They can expect a sound beating from SL.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

It Doesnt make sense either. Only these players make some scores in Lankan soil. Without these two players i dont know what they going to do there.

Posted by KingAjmal on (October 26, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

The funny thing is that these 2 teams played this ODI series already last year. Wasn't much of a crowd for these games either :)

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

What makes mccullum such an important component. He needs to be dropped as captain and if he doesn't want to keep as player !!!!!!!! Has his average increased since becoming a specialist batsmen??

Posted by Narbavi on (October 26, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

What a joke!! This team will get thrashed easily, i hardly see 3 specialist batsmen in this squad.

Posted by regofpicton on (October 26, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

KiwiCricketNut is dead right - we are going to get a hiding in Sri Lanka, which was going to be a rough assignment anyway. But is this really about "fine tuning"? While McCullum's game "needs work" alright (I have simpler solution - get someone in who can play test cricket!) Taylor averaged 67 in the BD tests, with two 50s in 3 knocks.

I actually suggested that McCullum stand himself down from the second test, so as to better prepare for the short-form games (and more importantly to take some of the growing pressure off himself). But if Taylor now goes to SL, there is a real risk that he will flourish, and team succeed, without YKW. And that would demonstrate, yet again, the utter stupidity of recent "decisions" by NZCricket.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

It is goin to be one of the boring series ever. I think its time sri lanka getting matches with teams such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan,Zimbabwe and other newly emerging teams, at least it will give the chance for them to come into the 10 test playing nations. Sri Lanka needs a new beginning from the bottom of the table.

Posted by SLslider on (October 26, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

@ INDSlider At least you people won WC, then Champions trophy in England Where we were bundled out for 130 odd against NZ in one match. Our cabinet is bare, we have not won anything for a decade now. And the reason is we get happy so early, we start celebrating before the match. Like in WC final after Jayawardene scored a hundred on a flat track and thisara parera hit couple of sixes in final overs, mahela was literally jumping on Parera like the match was over and we had already won the WC. Let the other team bat and complete the job then celebrate. Same thing happened in T20 final when WI scored a very low score. Our players were behaving like they had already won it. We need players like matthews and T. parera who react after completing the match.

Posted by Herath-UK on (October 26, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

I think it is more to do with those two not in good form & the fact Ronchi did well against Sri Lanka A recently they want to bring him in. Sri Lanka would have rested the seniors but the fact they have had already a cancelled Zim tour,better to include them to keep them oiled. Ranil Herath _Kent

Posted by Blade-Runner on (October 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

@INDSlider ; You are a very wise/sensible Indian fan n thank you for your wishes. I assure you that there will be no flat tracks for this series. I can understand your frustration, watching your team play on high ways all the time. As you can see, first 2 matches are gonna be held in Hambantota where the pitch is grassy n provides a very good bounce. Once, Steyn said that he felt like it at Centurion here in Hambantota. And the both T20's will be held in Pallekele which also has a pacy n bouncy wicket. Only Dambulla(3rd ODI) pitch will assist spinners. So, NO flat decks. !!! Anyway, I'd love to see more comments from you here in Cricinfo. :P G'day !!!

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

Gayle, Samuels , Shiv, Powell, Edwards, Bravo, Deonarine, Walton ,Ramdin, Gabriel, Roach, Cotterel, Rampaul, Holder and Johnson should arrive in New Zealand @ least 10 days before the start of the 1st test. this isnt even a long enough time to acclimatize and prepare but its a much better start than 3 days. England is already in Australia for the Ashes which doesnt begin for almost a month. ideally thats the kind of example we should be following. i would not take Sammy on this tour unless he has a really good series in India as although we broke into the top 5 without playing our best 11 for the past 3 years we cannot hope to stay there if we continue down this path.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Its Obvious that NZC want to win this series as they didnt even have the dececency to arrange a warm up match smh.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

i think this is a very wise move from New Zealand's point of view as West Indies are no longer a walk over team. I just hope someone from our setup has even better vision to send not just a few player but our Test squad to New Zealand after the "Tendulkar ' series. Playing an ODI series 'in India of all places' and then arriving in New Zealand 3 or so days b4 the 1st Test is not the right way to prepare for a test series in vastly different conditions.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (October 26, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

Congrat to both sides. I hope Lankan cricket board won't prepare flat highways like our BCCI prepared for Australian tour.

Posted by wijeya on (October 26, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

I cant blame them, apart from revenue theres very little interest in this incessant ODI's that all the teams play round the globe. They need to put a better structure than the current FTP in place to force countries to play a 3 test series againt another country then another 3 one days which ould be precedded by 1 T20i. For countries like England in their season they could then face at least 2 countries at home. With the possiblity of another 2 tours away with the same format. That way you get a Test Championship and a One Day Champonship and these games would become meaningful

Posted by SLslider on (October 26, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Another home series where our so called seniors will score bucketful of runs by preparing flat tracks and we will treat them as legends. Take a look at NZ they are resting their old players to give chances to younger and hungrier players. I hope NZ can thrash us and we drop Mahela immediately after the series. We need players who can score runs outside sri lanka and if mahela is planning to play in next WC then I have no hope from that WC. Kushal Parera batted like a tailender in ENG. Chandimal being a T20 captain is an embarrassment with an average of 13 and SR of 90 in T20s. Thirrimanne is useless in any form which has limited overs. Please bring in players who deliver performances not only promises. If this continues then I have no doubt that we are the next minnow. My fellow sri lankan fan please look at our team players before reacting to my comment.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

smart move from the Black Caps, I don't care how well we go in the one day series against Sri Lanka, there is 2 weeks between the Sri Lankan tour, let those two get back to NZ conditions, if I had a choice they should skip the Bangladesh odi and t/20 series my Team for First test against West Indies 1. Peter Fulton 2.Jesse Ryder 3.Kane Williamson 4. Ross Taylor 5 Brendon McCullum 6. Corey Anderson 7. BJ Watling 8. Ish Sodhi/ Daniel Vettori 9. Tim Southee 10. Neil Wagner 11. Trent Boult and other players in test squad for series Hamish Rutherford Dean Brownlie Doug Bracewell Mark Gillespie Martin Guptill( if fit)

Posted by kdevil3 on (October 26, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

from now onwards we will not see any competitive cricket....everyone only wants to win the home series poor

Posted by BMDeep on (October 26, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Workload? Seriously? Since when did NZ players started to feel burden for their OVER work load? I am not against giving chances to youngsters but that should not come at a cost of series whitewash or a similar result. Personally I dont think this squad will stand SL on their home ground. Again, the statement itself baffles me. " Red ball preparation" before home series? I really wonder if they forgot that the series they r playing right now is a red ball one. And are the NZ bard trying to say that two of the most senior players of the side need a PRODUCTIVE PREPARATION to face some side on home soil, the place where they play most of their cricket?

Anyway, all the best to Kane williamson for the promotion. He is a very good player and hope he step up for the additional responsibility coz I see no other potential candidate for captaincy for NZ in future. I will look forward for Neesham and Corey and I feel they should have tried BJ watling instead of Ronchi.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Oh I just realised that this was for the SL tour, not the Bangladesh one. But the point still stands, in fact it's possibly strengthened as SL are a much harder side to beat and I don't see how well we could do without three of our best batsmen.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (October 26, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

That could possibly be the weakest odi batting line up ive ever seen represent nz, bowling looks good, im all for blooding new guys but since when were we ever good enough to leave our best two odi batsmen behind, no taylor, no mccullum, no ryder, no guptill, makes me cringe, we are going to get a hiding

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

I think this is a fair enough decision to prepare them for the home summer...but! Doesn't this sort of defeat the purpose of what NZC have been trying to do for Kane Williamson's development by keeping him out of T20s? I think he is a very good batsman in that format and deserves to be on the team on merit and I don't ACTUALLY think T20 will hinder his talent in the longer formats...but it seems somewhat hypocritical.

The BCs are a very good ODI side...but this is a side that was already without Guptill, and now two of the best batsmen are out. It'll be tough. My side: 1 Devcich 2 Rutherford 3 Williamson (c) 4 Ronchi (w) 5 Latham 6 Anderson 7 Neesham 8 N McCullum 9 Mills 10 Southee 11 McClenaghan

I think it's worth playing Latham and ronchi as they're both potentially good enough as batsmen (although Ronchi can't be allowed to open). The inexperienced guys obviously have to step up or we're stuffed. We can't allow another Bangladesh series defeat again.

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