Ryder named to make Black Caps return in ODIs

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 16:44 19/12/2013
Jesse Ryder
IN FOCUS: Otago Volts batsman Jesse Ryder gets through his paces in the outdoor nets at Queens Park.

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Jesse Ryder is back in black, nearly two years since his last international cricket appearance for New Zealand.

The explosive left-hander was today named in the New Zealand squad of 13 for five one-day internationals against West Indies, starting next Thursday in Auckland.

He will open with Martin Guptill who also returns from finger and ankle injuries, while young fast bowler Adam Milne gets his chance in the squad with senior paceman Tim Southee set to miss the first two ODIs to have treatment on a big toe injury.

Ryder last played for New Zealand in February 2012, against South Africa in Napier, before an array of off-field incidents intervened. 

Most notable was a serious assault he suffered in Christchurch in March, then a subsequent six-month ban for taking a prohibited substance.

Since moving to Otago for a fresh start in October the runs have flowed and he locked in his selection after scoring a century and two 80s from his past five first-class innings.

National coach Mike Hesson was convinced enough to include the 29-year-old for his 40th ODI.

Ryder said: "I set the goal to make it back earlier this year and it is a great end to a tough year for me. I'm more motivated than ever to perform for the Black Caps." 

"Jesse gives us added fire power at the top of the order and he has a proven international record," said Bruce Edgar, the general manager national selection.

Guptill's return to white ball cricket was assured after he overcame the injuries that ruled him out of New Zealand's tours of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

"I'm in pretty good form for Auckland at the moment. I've been scoring a few runs and spending time in the middle," he said.

"That's the best preparation you can have so I'm just looking forward to getting out there and showing my stuff."

In 2013 alone, the Black Caps have tried seven different opening batsman in one-day cricket.

But Ryder's resurgence and Guptill's recovery from injury will see the team return to a combination at the top of the order that has paid dividends for New Zealand in the past.

"I think it's brilliant [Ryder's back]. He's had a pretty tough year," Guptill said.

"His move to Otago has really done him a world of good and he's scoring a lot of runs for them.

"He's come back strong and I'm glad to have him back in the Black Caps.

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"The challenge is try and keep up with him in the middle. He's a free-flowing scorer and if I can keep up with him and we can put a few partnerships together, I think we are going to set the team up for some really good total."

With captain Brendon McCullum not keeping wicket due to his bad back, Luke Ronchi was next cab off the rank with the gloves after some promising efforts in the subcontinent in his rightful middle order spot.

The rest of the squad was predictable enough, with Colin Munro getting the final middle order batting spot and pacemen Kyle Mills and Mitchell McClenaghan set to share the new ball. 

Allrounders Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham, who impressed in the subcontinent, were both included while Nathan McCullum and Kane Williamson will provide the spin.

A handful of others who played in Sri Lanka missed out with the return of the frontliners. 
Openers Tom Latham and Anton Devcich, fellow batsmen Rob Nicol and Grant Elliott and allrounder Andy Ellis all missed the cut.

Test paceman Trent Boult was also close, but will likely get a chance with the white ball later in the series. 

New Zealand one-day international squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.

- Fairfax Media

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