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Nicholls to lead New Zealand A in India

Henry Nicholls sweeps on his way to a hundred Getty Images

New Zealand A, led by Henry Nicholls, will field a strong A team in India, in the two four-day games and five one-dayers to be played against India A in late September and early October. Of the 16 players picked for the tour, 13 have played international cricket.

Nicholls aside, the 15 for the four-day games includes fast bowlers Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson, batsmen Colin Munro and Jeet Raval, and legspinner Ish Sodhi. The only change to the one-day squad is wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips comes in for Raval.

Offspinner Mark Craig and fast bowler Doug Bracewell were among a handful of players not considered for the tour due to injury.

New Zealand Cricket selector Gavin Larsen, who will be the team's manager on the tour, said such A-team programmes were vital to the senior team's development. "Going into a significantly different environment to that of the New Zealand domestic scene is a huge opportunity to promote player growth," Larsen said. "Preparing for international cricket is challenging, so this is a great chance for these players to improve their game in subcontinent conditions."

The party heading to India features three wicketkeepers in Tom Blundell, Tim Seifert and Phillips, and they will have former Otago gloveman Martyn Croy to work with them, Larsen said. "Having Marty Croy there to work with our three young wicketkeepers will be of immense benefit to their development. It's obviously a very specific skill set and a position we need to build depth in."

The squads will be coached by former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond.

Four-day squad: Henry Nicholls (capt), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell (wk), Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Sean Solia, George Worker, Will Young, Jeet Raval

One-day squad: Henry Nicholls (capt), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell (wk), Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Sean Solia, George Worker, Will Young, Glenn Phillips (wk)