New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has named a 15-man squad for the upcoming tour of Pakistan, with wicketkeeper-batter Tom Latham set to lead the side.
New Zealand’s squad features two potential debutants in Ben Lister and Cole McConchie, who has been consistent performers in domestic cricket.
The Canterbury skipper is part of the T20 squad for the Pakistan tour, earning selection on the back of a strong domestic season across formats. McConchie’s 1140 runs across all versions of the game is the second most by any player this season. The 31-year-old’s off-spin has also yielded eight scalps.
Lister, who made his T20I debut earlier this year against India, was in the ODI squad to face Sri Lanka. The touring party also included Chad Bowes, Rachin Ravindra, and Henry Shipley to give them further opportunities to stake a claim in the side.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead admitted that Pakistan are a challenging side regardless of where they face them. He also added that the tourists will draw inspiration from their ODI series win against them earlier this year.
As quoted on the official website, Stead said:
“We’ve enjoyed a number of exciting matches against Pakistan across both white ball formats in the last season home and way. They are a tough team no matter where you take them on. The successful ODI Series earlier this year in Pakistan provided big learning opportunities for the players and having more ODI match experience is fantastic in a World Cup year.”
With Saqlain Mushtaq joining the Black Caps as the assistant coach, the 51-year-old feels his addition will be invaluable. Stead conceded:
“Having someone with Saqlain’s experience is a big boost for the group and we are looking forward to the insights he can offer us to aid our preparations for local conditions, and in particular the assistance he can provide to our spin bowling group.”
The series will begin with the first of the five T20Is on April 14 in Lahore. It will be followed by five ODIs, scheduled to be played in Lahore and Rawalpindi.
New Zealand’s ODI squad for Pakistan tour
Tom Latham (c), Tom Blundell, Chad Bowes, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young.