New Zealand's stand-in coach Glenn Pocknall believes "there is a huge amount of growth" the team can look forward to from the uncapped pace bowler Ben Sears, who is among the fresh faces selected for the white-ball tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh beginning September.
Pocknall is standing in for regular head coach Gary Stead, who is taking a break before he joins the squad alongside batting coach Luke Ronchi for the T20 World Cup in the UAE in October. Also joining the new coaching staff for the Bangladesh and Pakistan tours will be former New Zealand fast bowler Graeme Aldridge, who will be the bowling coach, and the former Sri Lanka batter Thilan Samaraweera, who has been named the batting coach. Samaraweera has previously worked with New Zealand during their tour of Sri Lanka in August 2019.
New Zealand's regular bowling coach Shane Jurgenson will rejoin the squad as head coach for the T20I series against Pakistan.
With a number of first-team players including Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Lockie Ferguson unavailable owing to their involvement in the IPL, which clashes with part of the tour, several young players who have shown promise at the domestic level have been drafted into the squad. This includes the top-order batters Finn Allen, who is in all three squads, and Rachin Ravindra, who is in the squads for the T20I tour of Bangladesh and the Pakistan ODIs.
Sears, who featured in the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 alongside Ravindra and Allen, has come through the NZC pathways system and Pocknall feels he is one to watch out for.
"He is 22 years old, he is still pretty raw in terms of the first-class cricketer. For him, the world's his oyster," Pocknall said. "He has got all the skills and attributes of bowling fast. It is just harnessing his skill and harnessing his mind in the right direction, wherever that takes him, we will see. There is a huge amount of growth that we could all look forward to. It is just a start for him, he will be relishing the opportunity.
"He's got the pace since he was a kid. We just have to harness that, with the body growing in right position and mind growing in the right direction, the outcome that we are looking for at the end of the day is trying to get all the pieces of the puzzle together. "
Pocknall also heaped praise on Allen, who missed out on selection for the T20 World Cup. "At the moment, there is so much depth in New Zealand cricket that you could probably blanket over 25 names. He is still new to international cricket but he did have a great season last year. He is only young and he has got a bright future."
The squad, led by Tom Latham, leaves for Bangladesh on August 23 for the T20I series when they will play five T20Is. This will be followed by the Pakistan tour, which includes three ODIs starting September 17, and five T20Is. Pocknall believes that with depth in the squad, the team will be able to step up to the challenge in the subcontinent. New Zealand will play three ODIs from September 17, followed by five T20Is.
"I can't wait to get over there," Pocknall said. "It's a part of the world I haven't been to - both Bangladesh and Pakistan. There is a challenge in the unknown in terms of conditions. I know we have got a group that has depth. So whatever is thrown at us, we are gonna work together and achieve what we want to achieve. It's an exciting time."