Ferguson, Astle return to ODI squad against Windies

Wellington: New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson and spinner Todd Astle have been recalled in the 13-man ODI squad for the three-match series against West Indies beginning December 20 in Whangarei.

While Astle has returned to the squad after recovering fully from a groin injury, Martin Guptill will miss the series due to a hamstring injury.

In Guptill’s absence, Central Districts batsman George Worker will open the batting for the hosts.

Talking about Ferguson’s inclusion, New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said the fast bowler has been in an excellent form in the recent times and to have him and Adam Milne in the squad is exciting from a pace perspective.

Recently, Ferguson bagged two wickets by giving away 39 runs for his Auckland in the Ford Trophy.

He has taken a total of eight wickets from the seven ODIs that he played for his country.

Meanwhile, two senior players Kane Williamson and Tim Southee have been rested for the second and third ODIs, which will be played in Christchurch.

Tom Latham, who has led the ODI team during a tour to Ireland, will also lead New Zealand against the Caribbean side in Williamson’s absence.

Batsman Neil Broom and spinning all-rounder Mitchell Santner have been called in to replace Williamson and Southee in the squad for the second and third ODIs.

Reflecting on their absence, Larsen said the decision to rest the two senior players has been taken keeping in mind busy home season.

After the ongoing series against West Indies, Pakistan will tour New Zealand for five-match ODI series and three-match T20I series, before the Black Caps will lock horns with England in five ODIs and two Tests to end the summer.

“It’s a long summer, so for those guys playing in all three formats it’s important we keep them fresh and build depth leading into a world cup year. Tim and Kane will both take breaks during this series, but there will be others who will also rest throughout the season,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Larsen, as saying.

Williamson has also been given rest for the first T20I of the three-match series against West Indies, which starts on December 29 at the Saxton Oval, Nelson.

New Zealand ODI squad: Kane Williamson (capt.), Tim Southee [first ODI only for both], Todd Astle,Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor and George Worker

Neil Broome and Mitchell Santner (second and third ODIs only).(ANI)