New Zealand have left out experienced campaigners Trent Boult and Martin Guptill for the upcoming limited-overs assignment against India at home. While Boult's decision to opt out of his NZC contract in August this year had an effect on his omission, Guptill's future in international cricket has been thrown into doubt.
Guptill was a part of the T20 squad in the recently concluded World Cup in Australia but his spot at the top of the order was taken up by Finn Allen. As a result, Guptill didn't get to feature even once in the tournament having been a regular part of the playing XIs over the years for New Zealand in ICC tournaments. The 36-year-old Guptill is New Zealand's third highest rungetter in ODIs with 7346 runs at an average of 41.73. Allen's rise has seen him make it to both the ODI and T20I squads for these six -ball games, which has left Guptill surplus to requirements.
30-year-old fast bowler Adam Milne has been picked in both the squads and is likely to play his first ODI in over five years. Kyle Jamieson and Ben Sears were not considered for selection due to injuries whereas Jimmy Neesham will be left out of the squad for the third ODI in order to prepare for his wedding. Henry Nicholls will replace the allrounder for that final game.
"There's always an incredible buzz when India come to town," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said. "The energy and noise is incredible and I know the team are really looking forward to getting back and playing in front of some big home crowds. India are a world-class side stacked with IPL stars and we know we'll have to be right at the top of our game."
T20I squad: Kane Williamson (C), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway (WK), Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner
ODI squad: Kane Williamson (C), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Tom Latham (WK), Matt Henry
While confirming that Boult was left out in favour of players with central contracts, Stead also refused to close the door on the two veterans. "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," he said. "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 -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."
India's tour kicks off with a T20I on Friday (November 18) in Wellington before the teams move to Tauranga and Napier for the next two games in the series. That will be followed by a three-match ODI series which concludes on November 30. With some of the senior players rested for the tour, Hardik Pandya was named the captain of the T20I squad whereas Shikhar Dhawan will be leading in ODIs