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Rediff.com  » Cricket » New Zealand pick pace-heavy squad for India ODI series

New Zealand pick pace-heavy squad for India ODI series

Last updated on: January 15, 2014 13:25 IST

New Zealand, on Wednesday, named a virtually unchanged squad for the upcoming ODI series against India, with the selectors keeping faith in players who drew the recent five-match home assignment against the West Indies.

The 13-player squad, which drew the West Indies series 2-2, was more or less retained.

Tim Southee of New Zealand listens intently during a team meeting"The BLACKCAPS selectors have named a settled line-up for the ANZ One-Day International Series against world No 1 India starting in Napier on Sunday," read a statement from New Zealand Cricket.

"The squad for the five-match series is identical to the one which drew the recent ODI series against the West Indies, with the exception of Auckland batsman Colin Munro, who will return to play for his province."

General Manager national selection Bruce Edgar said the players were rewarded for a number of strong performances against the West Indies.

"It was pleasing to see every player stand up at some stage of that series and there were some simply outstanding efforts, headlined by Corey Anderson's world record One-day ton," he said.

Given the conditions and the focus on green tracks, the Kiwis have opted for a pace-heavy bowling attack.

Adam Milne, the 21-year-old sensation who created a flutter by bowling at 150-plus speed in the Twenty20s against the West Indies, will be the one to watch out for against India as well.

Milne will vie with the experienced Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan for frontline pace spots.

All-rounders Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham are also a part of the pace attack.

Edgar said New Zealand now face one of their toughest challenges at home against a side ranked at the top in the 50-over game and number two in Tests.

"We know we'll have to play out of our skins, and out match them player for player to be competitive against such a powerful side. But we showed against the West Indies that we can play extremely well on our day and are capable of beating any side," he said.

New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson said the team is fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead.

"Matching yourself against the best in the world is what you play international cricket for and I know the guys are buzzing about this opportunity. It's also an important part of our build-up for next year's World Cup where India are the defending champions," he said.

The squad for the two Test matches, which follow the ODI series, will be named later this month.

After Sunday's match in Napier, the five-match series will move to Hamilton (January 22 and 28), Auckland (January 25), and Wellington (January 31), before two Tests in Auckland and Wellington.

New Zealand ODI squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.

Image: New Zealand pacer Tim Southee (centre) listens intently during a team meeting

Photograph: Rob Jefferies/Getty Images