Luke Ronchi has returned to the New Zealand side for the limited-overs series against South Africa after being sidelined during the Bangladesh tour due to a groin injury. New Zealand have named the squads for the one-off T20I in Auckland and for two ODIs.
Ronchi had missed the third T20I against Bangladesh at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and he was replaced by Tom Blundell. The wicketkeeper-batsman had a lean run in the Bangladesh series, scoring just 40 runs in the two matches and not scoring a single run in the T20Is.
The squad sees the omission of Colin Munro after an inconsistent run in the series against Australia and Bangladesh. After scoring 87 in the Christchurch ODI, he managed scores of 3,2,3 in the next four matches. In the T20I series against Bangladesh, he smashed 101 off 54 balls but it was sandwiched between two scores of 0.
Speaking on the selection, New Zealand’s chairman of selectors Gavin Larsen said Munro needed to show consistency.
“Colin hasn’t quite shown the consistency he would like in the middle-order and we feel Jimmy (Neesham) is deserved of an opportunity with the bat at six,” Larsen said.
He also stated that the gains made by New Zealand in the Bangladesh series was promising. “The way we performed in the Twenty20 series against Bangladesh was really pleasing. There’s a lot of experience, but you also have the likes of Tom Bruce, Ben Wheeler and Lockie Ferguson who have made bright starts to their international careers. It will be great to have Luke back in the mix. He’s the number one white-ball wicketkeeper and brings considerable experience to the group,” Larsen said.
South Africa will play a one-off T20I, five ODIs and three Tests in New Zealand. Before the start of the T20I match, South Africa will play a warm-up match against a New Zealand XI on Tuesday.
The side will see the return of Adam Milne back to competitive cricket after being sidelined by injury since April 2016. The side consists of international players like Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Neil Broom and Matt Henry.
Larsen stated that the presence of the international players for the warm-up game is necessary. “We’ve named a really strong side for the match, which should be a tough contest and allow a few of our players the opportunity to get a first look at the South African team. Adam has put in an incredible amount of work to get back out on the park, so it’ll be a big moment for him,” he said
New Zealand ODI squad for South Africa (First two ODIs)
Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor
New Zealand squad for T20I versus South Africa
Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (Wkt), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ben Wheeler