Since majority of the senior Kiwi players currently taking part in the ongoing 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Tom Latham will be leading a second-string New Zealand team in the upcoming unofficial ODI series against Australia. The three-match ODI series will work as preparation for the Kiwi team before the all-important 2019 World Cup. The Kiwis recently announced the final 15-member squad for the upcoming mega event, however, only five of the selected players will be playing the unofficial ODIs against Australia.
Nine of the 15 players of the World Cup squad are playing in the IPL, while senior batsman Ross Taylor will be busy with his County stint with Nottinghamshire. Alongside Latham, the likes of James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Matt Henry and Tom Blundell will be the other World Cup-selections who will be playing the unofficial One-dayers against Australia.
There are certain players who have been included in the team in order to prepare back-up options in case injury plays apart before or during the course of the 2019 World Cup. However, the likes of Tim Seifert, Corey Anderson and Adam Milne missed the flight due to their respective injury issues.
All the three matches will be played at the Allan Border Fields on May 5, 7 and 9.
It’s an exciting challenge
Kiwi chief selector Gavin Larsen mentioned that it will be an exciting challenge for the boys to take on the Australians at home just before the World Cup. “It's an exciting challenge ahead of this group who I know will relish the chance to take on the Australians at home. The matches will be a stern test and provide quality preparation for those players bound for England and a great opportunity for the rest of the squad to show their wares," quoted Gavin Larsen.
“We will have three training camps through April which will involve many players who are not in this squad as it's important they're ready on stand-by should we lose anybody in the lead up to or at the tournament," Kiwi head coach Gary Stead said recently in a statement.