It is a strange tour; supposedly as a build-up for the Champions Trophy (remember that’s the only ICC tournament New Zealand has ever won) in England in June.
And it’s controversial
@Sportsfreakconz How is this an actual NZ team and not an A side? It’s ridiculous I hope we lose an odi to Ireland.
— Mathew Grocott (@mathewgrocott) April 6, 2017
The players competing in IPL 10 are not available, so there’s a bit of an experimtental look to this squad not seen since that ODI series in Pakistan at the end of 2003.
Tom Latham (c)
The reality of the rationale from NZ Cricket is that they should let their contracted players fill their boots in India, and if there is ever a time to prove they have elite players’ interests at heart it should be at the sacrifice of some ODIs against Ireland and Bangladesh.
This is to try to ensure players don’t go down the road of becoming T20 global mercenaries over playing for New Zealand. Ironically, Colin Munro, who has expressed an interest in the former, will be in Ireland and not India in May.
A lot of this season’s navel gazing has been about the effect of the suspended NZ A programme. Accidentally they have stumbled on such a tour here; albeit consisting of four ODIs.
Sodhi gets a recall to international cricket (although Ireland in May is probably not a leg spinner’s happy place), as do George Worker and Hamish Bennett.
Test specialists Neil Wagner and Henry Nicholls get a chance to try out the shorter format, and there is another chance for Neil Broom.
The debutantes are Scott Kuggeleijn and Seth Rance. The inclusion of the former will always be controversial, but their call-ups are an endorsement of the NZ provincial system. Rance is classic provincial New Zealand fast bowling anger. He is a good selection for this.
The lack of ambition, however, seems to be in the wicket keeping area. This has been the weakness of the NZ short form cricket all season and, once again, the selectors have blinked. Tom Latham has been burdened with the captaincy for this series. In itself that’s fine, but we saw what happened to his less-than-established ODI game when given the gloves earlier this year. Surely he won’t be given all 3 roles?
So that means Ronchi gets another series at a time when you would have thought this was the perfect time to introduce the likes of a Tom Blundell.
As for those missing due to IPL commitments.
Colin de Grandhomme
That’s a more than handy line-up. It’s also missing a wicket keeper.