Buttler, Mills return to New Zealand ODI squad against India
Fast bowler Ian Buttler's impressive showing in the just-concluded Twenty20 Internationals has earned him a place in the New Zealand One-day team after a hiatus of five years for the first three games of the five-match series against India starting on March 3.
Apart from Buttler, Kyle Mills, who had strained his Achilles tendon, also made a comeback to the ODI squad after a two-week injury lay-off to augment an already lethal Kiwi pace battery, led by Iain O'Brien, Butler and Tim Southee.
The Black Caps have more seam bowling options in Jesse Ryder and Jacob Oram, who missed the Chappell-Hadlee Series earlier this month because of injury but played the two Twenty20 matches against India. They returned in place of Brendon Diamanti and Peter Fulton.
However, Nathan McCullum and Ewen Thompson failed to make the move up to New Zealand's ODI team. Offspinner Jeetan Patel was also left out of the squad which has a lone regular spinner in skipper Daniel Vettori
Assessing that Indian batsmen are sound players of spin, New Zealand's chief selector Glenn Turner said the squad was a strong one, which reflected the sizeable pool of players in consistent good form at international and domestic levels.
"Knowing the way the Indians play spin bowling in limited overs, we think the attack will benefit from having an extra seamer," Turner said.
"We're fortunate that Kyle Mills is back to fitness after injury. His recent form with the new ball in limited overs has been outstanding," he added.
Turner made it clear that the squad had been named only for the first three matches, so as to give other players a chance to find their form in the next round of the domestic championship.
The ODIs will be played at Napier (March 3), Wellington (March 6), Christchurch (March 8), Hamilton (March 11) and Auckland (March 14).
The Team: Daniel Vettori (captain), Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.