Cricket: Selectors face curly ODI choices

By David Leggat

Martin Guptill. Photo / NZ Herald
Martin Guptill. Photo / NZ Herald

One thing is sure about today's naming of New Zealand's ODI squad - the selectors won't please everyone.

Coach Mike Hesson and general manager national selection Bruce Edgar have had some curly choices.

They are set to reunite Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill at the top of the order for the first time since Hamilton in February 2011, when Ryder was run out without facing a ball.

Ryder, who averages 34.37 from 39 ODIs, is back after almost two years in the wilderness; Guptill, going at 39.92, will return after a fractured finger and ankle surgery, having missed the tours of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

A top five of Guptill, Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum has plenty of bounce.

Three young left-handed hitters are available, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham and Colin Munro. It might be a three-into-two situation.

Are there places for Tom Latham and Anton Devcich? Latham's 86 at Hambantota in New Zealand's second most recent ODI might get him in; Devcich deserves another opportunity too.

Grant Elliott has played important innings since his recall from a two-year absence last June. But not everybody can squeeze in. There might also be a feeling the selectors know what some players are capable of and want to cast about so no one is missed.

With McCullum out of the wicketkeeping frame, Luke Ronchi should stay, as a quality gloveman and quick scorer in the final 10 overs.

The bowling should again fall on Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and, for variety and extra pace, Mitchell McClenaghan.

The squad is likely to be changed after the second ODI of the five-game series starting at Eden Park on Boxing Day.


Possible New Zealand ODI squad

Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan.

- NZ Herald

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