New Zealand without Williamson, Southee for India series

AUCKLAND (AFP): Kane Williamson and Tim Southee will miss a six-match tour of India as New Zealand juggle their resources to cope with a condensed start to the year.


Coach Gary Stead will also sit out the January tour, with his assistant Luke Ronchi to take charge of a squad to contest three ODIs followed by three Twenty20 internationals.


While the T20 squad is still to be named, captain Williamson, Southee and Stead won’t be involved.


Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen confirmed on Monday the trio will return home after next month’s tour of Pakistan to begin preparations for the home Test series against England, starting in mid-February.


“It’s a conveyor belt of cricket at international level,” Larsen told journalists.


“We’ve got two very important Test matches against England, so bringing Kane and Tim back and letting them recharge their batteries mentally and physically is really, really crucial.”


Williamson last week relinquished the Test captaincy to veteran seamer Southee but will remain skipper in the shortened formats.


A 17-player squad will span two ODI series — in Pakistan from January 10-14 and India from January 18-24.


Mark Chapman and Jacob Duffy will replace Williamson and Southee in India, with Tom Latham taking the captaincy.


Seamer Trent Boult and allrounder Jimmy Neesham are both missing after declining NZC contracts and signing to play in Australia’s Big Bash T20 league, while pace bowler Kyle Jamieson remains unavailable with a back injury.


Allrounder Henry Shipley is set to make his international debut.


Larsen said both series will be invaluable for the world’s top-ranked ODI side ahead of the Cricket World Cup in India next October-November.


New Zealand squad for ODI series in Pakistan and India:


Kane Williamson (capt, Pakistan only), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman (India only), Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy (India only), Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (capt against India), Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (Pakistan only)