The last time the Black Caps played in Australia, head coach Gary Stead was in the midst of a selection crisis.

Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson had been sidelined with injuries, leading to unexpected call-ups for Kyle Jamieson and Will Somerville. Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner had been laid low by illness, leading to a frantic flight for Glenn Phillips and a desperate recall for Jeet Raval, while Tim Southee, for reasons that remain baffling, had been dropped for Matt Henry.

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It was the toughest challenge of a tour that would be the lowest point of Stead's Black Caps tenure, but two months on those headaches are gone, with Stead having remarkably few selection dilemmas when naming his squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia.

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"It was probably one of the easier ones that we've had to select for some time," Stead acknowledged.

"Everyone's fit, and we've selected what we think is our best team to go over there and hopefully play well and do something that hasn't been done before."

Black Caps coach Gary Stead with a rare smile on his face. Photo / Photosport
Black Caps coach Gary Stead with a rare smile on his face. Photo / Photosport

That quest – becoming the first New Zealand side to win an ODI series in Australia – is the focus for Stead, who doesn't particularly want to get caught up in any talk of revenge for their test trouncing.

"It's a different series and you have different players there, but we're determined to go over there and put in a performance that hopefully shows we deserved to be in that World Cup final, and we can certainly compete with Australia on their grounds.

"But we're under no illusions that it's a very tough place to go - they showed that a few months ago."

While selecting the 15-man squad was a breeze, cutting the side down to 11 for each match will be more difficult, with the Black Caps' first-choice ODI XI potentially leaving out the talents of Southee, Jamieson, Ish Sodhi and Tom Blundell.

However, two games at the spin-friendly SCG, as well as the luxury of having several all-rounders in the side, will allow Stead some flexibility – while his top five should be a constant, the bottom six could be tweaked every game to match the conditions on offer.

Kyle Jamieson's performance against India has given the Black Caps a lot to think about. Photo / Photosport
Kyle Jamieson's performance against India has given the Black Caps a lot to think about. Photo / Photosport

"It's nice to have, you saw through the last test series that all the bowlers we had were quite complementary of each other and provided options for Kane, and it's no different with this side.


"Generally the wickets are pretty flat with a lot of runs being scored as well. We play twice at Sydney, I'm not sure if we're on a different pitch or not but one's a night game [on Friday] and then one's a day game [on Sunday], so you expect spin may come into contention there a wee bit more."

And, after they were played off the park in the three test matches, Stead believes Australia will be given a much stiffer challenge as the Black Caps aim to bring home the prestigious Chappell-Hadlee trophy.

"We're well set up - we have some freshness with guys coming in and out of the squad which adds that little bit of spark. We're in a good place – and I can think of nothing better than being able to bring that trophy back to New Zealand."

Black Caps ODI Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.