No surprises in New Zealand's ODI squad to face India - and no surprises in that.

The New Zealand squad of 13 for the first three matches in the five-game series is identical to that used against the West Indies, a series which ended 2-2 but which had the hosts kicking themselves after tumbling to an embarrassing 203-run loss in the decider at Hamilton.

The only casualty is Auckland lefthander Colin Munro.

He was identified by coach Mike Hesson early on as the backup batsman and was released from the Hamilton game to return to play an HRV Cup game.


Munro not being there may be disappointing for the player, but it's good news for Auckland, who will have him free for the resumption of the Plunket Shield next week.

India are the world's No 1 ODI side, New Zealand are eighth. The challenge is substantial.

"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," national selection manager Bruce Edgar said. "But we showed against the West Indies that we can play extremely well on our day and are capable of beating any side."

There will also be an expectation that New Zealand will be motivated to perform at their optimum - India's ranking and the fact they are defending World Cup champions, and will be back next February chasing a repeat title.

"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," Hesson said last night.

The series presents another opportunity to see the Adam Milne-Mitchell McClenaghan axis in tandem.

Big left-armer McClenaghan has developed a fine ODI reputation in just on a year. His record stands at 43 wickets from 18 games, at 20.04 apiece. Milne is simply exciting, with his extra pace.

The series gains in significance through being the last time New Zealand will host an ODI rubber until shortly before the World Cup. It seems as if the selectors, Hesson and Edgar, have a clear idea how they want to play the 50-over game, and who they want playing it.


There's a year to go until the World Cup, but a group of players have first dibs. It's up to them to grab that opportunity.

Do it against the world's best team and they'll have done themselves a huge favour.

ODI squad

New Zealand lineup to play India, starting in Napier on Sunday:
Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan.