New Zealand Set To Pick 2nd String Squad For Australia Tour

New Zealand is set to pick a second-string squad for their upcoming tour of Australia keeping in mind the hassles of staying in bio-secure bubbles. The Aussies are set to play three ODIs and a solitary T20I on Australian soil from Sunday, January 30 to Tuesday, February 8.

New Zealand National Cricket Team head coach Gary Stead has confirmed that the team management will be picking a second-string squad for the upcoming Australia tour. Thereafter, South Africa’s tour of New Zealand is scheduled to get underway on Thursday, February 17.

New Zealand v Australia (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
New Zealand v Australia (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand Set To Pick Second String Squad For Australia Tour And Gary Stead Said It Won’t Involve Test Cricketers

Gary Stead, the Black Caps’ head coach, said that the squad for the Australia squad won’t involve any Test cricketers. The Kiwis will play two home Tests against the Proteas.

The white ball squad will include Ross Taylor in his farewell international season but won’t feature any of New Zealand’s test players, who will remain behind to prepare for the two-test series against South Africa, starting February 17 in Christchurch. The second test is at Wellington’s Basin Reserve from February 25.

“I don’t think any Test players will be involved (in the Australia series),” Gary Stead was quoted as saying.

New Zealand (File Photo) - GETTY IMAGES
New Zealand (File Photo) – GETTY IMAGES

“Just with the crossover and isolation at the moment, it means we’d only have two or three days in between the South Africa (Test) series as well,” he stated.

Prior to the T20 World Cup 2021 in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand played a bilateral T20I series against Bangladesh. The Black Caps’ white-ball tour to Australia is under a cloud with extended trans-Tasman border restrictions creating issues.

New Zealand was scheduled to depart on January 24 for three ODIs against Australia, starting on January 30 in Perth, and a Twenty20 international in Canberra on February 8. New Zealand Cricket remains confident the team will travel to Australia for the tour, but there may need to be changed to the schedule.

Gary Stead: New Zealand’s Squad Will Be Somewhat Similar Of T20I Squad For Previous Bangladesh Tour Before The 2021 T20I World Cup

For the series in Dhaka, the Kiwis picked a set of players, who weren’t a part of the multi-nation event. The Black Caps also picked the same squad for the series in Pakistan, but the games were cancelled due to certain reasons.

“It’s highly likely that you’ll see a side somewhat like how we selected for Bangladesh before the T20 World Cup as well when none of our T20 World Cup players toured there; it’ll be similar, but with a Test slant on it this time,” Stead added.

New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)
New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)

Despite not having the best players for the Australia series, Gary Stead said that the team will go in with “high expectations”. After finishing as the runners-up in the T20 World Cup, New Zealand played a T20I and Test series in India. Thereafter, they locked horns with Bangladesh in two Test matches at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and the Hagley Oval in Christchurch and levelled the series 1-1.

As far as the Australia series is concerned, Perth, Hobart, and Sydney will host the three ODIs on Sunday, January 30, Wednesday, February 2, and Saturday, February 5. The Manuka Oval in Canberra will host the only T20I on Tuesday, February 8. South Africa is currently hosting India in a three-test series, which will be followed by three ODIs, in a biosecure bubble with no crowds.

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