New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has said that pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee will be used sparingly in the upcoming home series against Bangladesh in a bid to help them get through a busy home season that culimates with the Test series against South Africa in March.
New Zealand's home summer begins on Boxing Day with the first of three ODIs against Bangladesh, in Christchurch. While Boult is expected to sit out of the last ODI and the start of the three-match T20I series that follows, Southee will miss the T20 leg altogether to stay fresh for the first Test that begins in Wellington on January 12.
"It's always a balancing act with guys that play all three forms, especially the bowlers," Hesson said. "We'll give them a chance to get their loads up so they're ready to go for the Test match."
Boult was New Zealand's most successful bowler in their previous international assignment - the three-match Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in which he took six wickets in three matches at 30. Both he and Southee have played for Northern Knights in the 2016-17 Super Smash.
Hesson further indicated that while the pace-bowling duo are the only ones identified for a lighter schedule, there may be other personnel too who could be rested.
Kane Williamson, the captain, joined the squad on Saturday after having had a break of two weeks to re-energise. Williamson has not played a match since the final ODI against Australia at the MCG and will have just a couple of training sessions as preparation for the Bangladesh series.
"It's been nice to be able to give him a break," Hesson said. "It's a tough ask playing all three forms of the game and you're captain as well. I've left him alone, to be fair, to enjoy his break rather than getting annoying phone calls from me all the time. He's certainly fresh and ready to go."
Despite New Zealand's recent dip in form in ODIs - they lost 3-2 in India before being blanked 3-0 in Australia - Hesson exuded confidence in the team's ability to bounce back.
"I think it's been good the guys have had 10-12 days home playing some domestic cricket," he said. They are getting some confidence back, and on the back of a couple of wins in India .... it wasn't too long ago that had some pretty good memories."