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Guptill, Boult not in New Zealand squad for India series; Finn Allen confirmed for white-ball fixture


Auckland, Nov 15 (IANS) New Zealand have left out two of their most experienced players — opener Martin Guptill and left-arm quick Trent Boult — for their white-ball series at home against India, with Kane Williamson continuing to lead the side in the three T20Is and three ODI series beginning at Wellington on November 18.

Following New Zealand’s loss at the semifinal stage of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia and their runners-up finish in the previous edition of the tournament in the UAE last year, New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) transition into a new era has commenced with the duo being left out and rising star Finn Allen primed to face Rohit Sharma’s side for the first time after being confirmed in both the white-ball squads for the fixture.

The Kiwis have opted to use 23-year-old Allen ahead of Guptill at the top of the order in recent times. Boult, meanwhile, will also be on the sidelines after he made the decision earlier this year to end his contract with New Zealand Cricket in order to spend more time with his family and concentrate on opportunities in domestic leagues around the world.

Boult will be missed in the pace-bowling department with Tim Southee, Matt Henry (ODIs only), Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner and Adam Milne filling the ranks. Milne is in line to play his first ODI since 2017, building on his return to the T20 International arena during the recent Tri-series and last year’s ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said it was never easy leaving out the experience of Boult and Guptill but the team had to keep looking ahead.

“When Trent opted out of his NZC contract in August, we indicated that priority would be given to those players with either central or domestic contracts, and that’s been the case here,” Stead was quoted as saying by NZC on Tuesday.

“We’re all aware of Trent’s world-class ability, but at this time — as we build towards more global events, we want to give opportunities and experiences to others. The emergence and success of Finn at the top of the order in white-ball cricket means a guy of the class of Martin Guptill misses out — that’s just the nature of high performance sport.

“With the 50-over World Cup less than a year away we’re keen to give Finn every opportunity to keep gaining ODI experience, especially against quality opposition such as India. The message to both those players is that there’s a lot of international cricket ahead and the door is certainly not closed to them.”

The tour begins with a three-game T20 International series across Wellington (Nov 18), Tauranga (Nov 20) and Napier (Nov 22), before moving into the ODI series across Auckland (Nov 25), Hamilton (Nov 27) and Christchurch (Nov 30).

The one-day series could see Tim Southee become the fifth New Zealander to claim 200 ODI wickets, with the 33-year-old’s tally poised on 199. Tom Latham returns as the ODI wicket-keeper with Devon Conway continuing behind the stumps for the T20 side.

Ben Sears (back) and Kyle Jamieson (back) were not considered for selection due to injuries.

Cricket enthusiasts in India can watch the India tour of New Zealand series on Prime Video starting from November 18.

The squad: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway (wk), Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry (ODI), Tom Latham (ODI) (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi (T20), Tim Southee, Blair Tickner (T20).

(Jimmy Neesham has been excused from the squad for the third ODI as he prepares for his wedding, with Henry Nicholls the replacement for the final match in Christchurch).



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