Fast bowler Adam Milne will get a crack at the powerful Indian batting lineup after being included in a virtually unchanged New Zealand squad for the one-day international cricket series, starting in Napier on Sunday.
Coach and selector Mike Hesson kept faith with the 13 players who took the field in the 2-2 ODI series draw with West Indies, with backup batsman Colin Munro the only player from that squad to drop out. Munro will return to play for Auckland in the Plunket Shield.
Batsman Kane Williamson and seamer Kyle Mills were recalled after not being required for the two Twenty20 internationals against West Indies.
There may have been a temptation to bring in fresh blood after New Zealand's awful 203-run defeat in the final ODI in Hamilton last week, but there are few genuine challengers from outside what is clearly their first-choice squad.
New Zealand won their previous two ODIs comfortably, in Queenstown and Nelson, but still languish eighth in the world while India are top of the ODI rankings.
Test paceman Trent Boult was one contender on the fringes but is still troubled by a thigh strain and won't play for Northern Districts in Friday's T20 semifinal against Canterbury either.
Milne only made one appearance in the ODI series, in the rain-reduced match in Queenstown, but the 21-year-old fast bowler is rated highly and impressed in the Auckland T20 match on Saturday with a 153kmh delivery and tidy spell of 1-15.
It means Hesson and captain Brendon McCullum will have tough choices over their pace bowling makeup against India, with Milne vying with the experienced Mills, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan for frontline spots.
Allrounders Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham are also in the pace bowling mix.
General manager national selection, Bruce Edgar, said players were rewarded for a number of strong performances against West Indies.
"We know we'll have to play out of our skins, and out match them player for player to be competitive against such a powerful side," Edgar said.
"But we showed against West Indies that we can play extremely well on our day and are capable of beating any side."
After Sunday, the five match series continues to Hamilton (January 22), Auckland (January 25), Hamilton (January 28) and Wellington (January 31), before two tests in Auckland and Wellington.
New Zealand ODI squad to face India: Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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