Tearaway quick Adam Milne, attacking all-rounder Corey Anderson and left seam bowler Mitchell McClenaghan have earned their comebacks to the teams after they were included in the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy. The squad features five specialist batsmen, four pace bowlers, three seam-bowling all-rounders, two spinners and one specialist wicketkeeper. The touring party will be led by Kane Williamson.
Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor are the most experienced men in the line-up. Tom Latham, Neil Broom are the other specialist batsmen in the side whereas Corey Anderson, Colin de Grandhomme and James Neesham will be fighting for the all-rounder’s place at No.7 in the team.
The seam bowling attack will be led by Tim Southee and has Adam Milne, Trent Boult and Mitchell McClenaghan along with spinners Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner. Luke Ronchi is the only specialist wicketkeeper in the squad.
Milne, McClenaghan and Anderson were away from the international fold due to injuries since last year. These men, however, are currently a part of the IPL and have proven their fitness. Anderson was also bogged down with back injuries but made his comeback earlier this year.
Milne and McClenaghan have not played for New Zealand since the last Year’s World T20. Milne, known for his capability of bowling over 145 KMPH on a consistent basis, suffered an elbow injury and a hamstring tear which kept him out of action for a long time while McClenaghan due to an eye injury.
Speaking at the press conference after the announcement, Coach Mike Henson showed immense trust in the trio when quizzed about their inclusion.
“It’s been good to see all three back on the park and bowling; together they add a lot of experience to our squad,” Hesson said. “Mitch and Adam have been running in well, and Corey has shown he’ll be capable of providing an option with the ball.
“We believe it’s an exciting squad; an experienced squad, and one that has the batting power and the bowling variations to prevail in a potentially high-scoring tournament.
“Having four all-rounders (including Mitchell Santner) certainly helps with balance, and the return of Mitch and Adam will offer options with the new ball, through the middle of the innings, and in the death overs.”
New Zealand is scheduled to play a four-match tri-series with hosts Ireland and Bangladesh from May 14-24. Hesson confirmed a small group of players from the squad for the tri-series will remain in England as Champions Trophy cover.
As far as the Champions Trophy schedule is concerned, New Zealand will start their preparation with warm-up matches against India on May 28 in London and Sri Lanka on May 30 in Birmingham, before playing their opening match against Australia at Edgbaston on June 2.
NEW ZEALAND SQUAD: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.