WELLINGTON: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is a among a clutch of World Cup stars omitted from the Black Caps’ squad named Thursday for next month’s limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Pace spearheads Trent Boult (back injury) and Tim Southee (rested) will also miss the tour, along with all-rounder Corey Anderson (back injury).
With McCullum seizing the opportunity for a break after the World Cup this year and subsequent tour of England, coach Mike Hesson said Kane Williamson will fill in as captain.
Hesson said the absence of big names should not prevent the Black Caps displaying the form that took them to the World Cup final, calling on other squad members to “step up”.
“Our focus is on continuing to produce strong team performances, rather than be distracted by the presence or absence of specific individuals,” he said.
The only new face in the squad is spinner Ish Sodhi, who will play in the Zimbabwe leg before being replaced by Doug Bracewell in South Africa.
New Zealand will play three one-dayers and one Twenty20 in Zimbabwe before taking on South Africa in three one-dayers and two Twenty20s.
The Proteas will be looking to exact revenge for their dramatic loss to New Zealand with one ball to spare in the World Cup semi-final in Auckland.
Squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Doug Bracewell (South Africa only), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (Zimbabwe only), Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.
• August 2 v Zimbabwe, Harare, 1st ODI
• August 4 v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2nd ODI
• August 7 v Zimbabwe, Harare, 3rd ODI
• August 9 v Zimbabwe, Harare, Twenty20
• August 14 v South Africa, Durban, 1st Twenty200
• August 16 v South Africa, Centurion, 2nd Twenty20
• August 19 v South Africa, Centurion, 1st ODI
• August 23 v South Africa, Potchefstroom, 2nd ODI
• August 26 v South Africa, Durban, 3rd ODI