Pacer Tim Southee has been included in New Zealand's 13-man squad for the five ODI series against India, starting January 19. Southee missed the first three ODIs of the five-match series against West Indies with a toe injury but recovered to play the final two games. He replaces batsman Colin Munro in the squad.
Brendon McCullum will lead the side which also includes Ross Taylor, opener Jesse Ryder and all-rounder Corey Anderson. (Related: Anderson slams fastest-ever ODI ton) Southee will lead the pace attack alongside the experienced Kyle Mills, ODI sensation Mitchell McClenaghan, James Neesham and Adam Milne. Nathan McCullum is the only spinner in the squad.
Bruce Edgar, New Zealand's chief selector, said the current squad had been retained as a reward for its good performance against the West Indies. "It was pleasing to see every player stand up at some stage of that series," Edgar said. "There were some simply outstanding efforts headlined by Corey Anderson's world-record one-day ton." The just-concluded series versus the Caribbeans ended 2-2.
New Zealand Cricket selectors have refused to consider former skipper and veteran spinner Daniel Vettori for the series against India. The 34-year-old is battling a succession of injuries and last played an ODI for New Zealand against England on June 16, 2013. With his international career hanging in the balance, Vettori is set to have talks with coach Mike Hesson about his future at the end of this month.
Hesson said India will be a difficult opposition and the Kiwis have to prove themselves. "We know we'll have to play out of our skins, and outmatch them player for player to be competitive against such a powerful side," Hesson said, adding: "But we showed against the West Indies that we can play extremely well on our day and are capable of beating any side."
"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. It's also an important part of our build-up for next year's World Cup where India are the defending champions."
The five ODIs will be followed by two Tests. India's tour ends February 18.
ODI SQUAD: Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson