A big couple of weeks lie in store for New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson.
National selector Gavin Larsen, in naming the squad for the pre-Champions Trophy tri-series against hosts Ireland and Bangladesh yesterday, confirmed Anderson, plagued by back problems in recent years, must be a fully-functioning allround contributor if he's to make the trophy squad.
Anderson, who plays for the Delhi Daredevils, has done minimal bowling this season, and the noises yesterday were that he won't be in the frame as a specialist batsman - even though he has form for thunderous hitting, most recently 94 off 41 balls against Bangladesh in a T20 international in Mt Maunganui in January.
"His next three weeks or so with his franchise are absolutely crucial," Larsen said. "He hasn't got through much bowling for ND which has been disappointing. He's got a problematic back, no doubt about that, and he's not in bad shape at the moment.
"It probably becomes more mind over matter and that's something Corey is going to have to deal with himself."
Larsen did throw a line to another heavy-hitting lefthander in Colin Munro. His was the name most spruiked in the latter part of the summer, as in why wasn't he getting a chance in the national team.
Munro cracked four Plunket Shield centuries for Auckland, at a fast pace and took a 54-ball century off Bangladesh in a T20 match, but there has been criticism that his aggression needs a degree of tempering. His first-ball dismissal against South Africa, having a wild swing, in a T20 match was a bad look.
"We know how destructive he can be with the bat. He has to be selective in how he goes about his decision-making. This is a prime opportunity for Colin to stand up and be considered a genuine allrounder," Larsen said.
Tom Latham will become New Zealand's 22nd ODI skipper in Ireland, but won't be taking the gloves unless a mishap befalls Luke Ronchi.
Latham's batting form fell away while he kept against Australia and South Africa. Ronchi, the specialist, is back in favour, and may well open the batting in Ireland.
"We know his talent, we know how good this guy is and this is a big opportunity for him," Larsen said of Ronchi.
It appears Ronchi, Latham, George Worker and, assuming he is fit, Martin Guptill will be the opening contenders for the Champions Trophy, which starts on June 1. New Zealand will play Australia, England and Bangladesh in pool play.
New Zealand itinerary:
May 11: v Ireland Wolves (20 overs), venue tbc.
May 14: v Ireland, Malahide.
May 17: v Bangladesh, Clontarf.
May 21: v Ireland, Malahide.
May 24: v Bangladesh, Clontarf.
New Zealand squad for the tri- series against Ireland and Bangladesh which precedes the Champions Trophy:
Tom Latham (c), George Worker, Luke Ronchi, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitch Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Hamish Bennett, Jeetan Patel, Seth Rance, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner.
Those not considered due to injury: Ben Wheeler, Doug Bracewell, Ed Nuttall.
Those not considered due to the IPL: Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Corey Anderson, Matt Henry, Colin de Grandhomme.