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“Both players are vital to our success and fine-tuning their red-ball skills before the West Indies series starting in early December is paramount”
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and flamboyant batsman Ross Taylor have both been ruled out of the upcoming limited overs tour to Sri Lanka, which gets underway on November 10, in order to get some much-needed rest and relaxation ahead of the Black Caps’ home series against the West Indies in December.
Kane Williamson will take over as captain for the three ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka.
It is also understood that wicketkeeper batsman Luke Ronchi and pace bowler Ian Butler will replace McCullum and Taylor.
New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) general manager Bruce Edgar noted that the pair will not travel to Sri Lanka in order to get some “red-ball preparation” ahead of the home series against the West Indies.
“Ross and Brendon need red-ball preparation to be at their best for the summer,” Edgar said. “Both players are vital to our success and fine-tuning their red-ball skills before the West Indies series starting in early December is paramount.
New Zealand’s home series against the West Indies will consist of three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals and will run from December 3 to January 15.
This will be followed by a visit from India for two Tests and five ODIs from January 19 to February 18.
While the national team are in Sri Lanka, McCullum and Taylor are likely to play in the Plunket Shield, which is New Zealand’s first-class competition.
Edgar added that NZC were trying to manage the workloads of the players ahead of major tournaments like the 2014 World Twenty20 and 2015 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.
“This summer we have 37 days of international cricket at home and Brendon and Ross are expected to play all of these, so it’s essential that we manage their workloads,” he said. “It’s important we provide game time to a wider playing group in one-dayers and Twenty20s, and establish a bigger bench of playing experience with the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh next year and World Cup 2015 beyond that.”
New Zealand’s first two ODIs against Sri Lanka will take place on November 10 and 12 in Hambantota.
It will be followed by the third ODI on November 16 in Dambulla.
Both Twenty20 Internationals will be held in Kandy on November 19 and 21.
New Zealand squad for Sri Lanka ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Ian Butler, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford