IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Taylor to captain New Zealand in Sri Lanka tri-series


Ross Taylor has been appointed New Zealand captain for the tri-series in Sri Lanka in August. The national selectors have rested two key senior players in regular captain Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum for the tournament in Dambulla, also involving India. Vettori and McCullum have both been granted paternity leave and will also spend their time away reconditioning themselves for the busy season ahead. Fast bowler Kyle Mills will be Taylor’s deputy.

The 15-man squad features the rookie batsman Kane Williamson, who led New Zealand in the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. He was called-up to the Test squad for the home series against Australia earlier this year, but is yet to make his international debut.

Mark Greatbatch, the chairman of selectors, said the tour would be an opportunity for Taylor to sharpen his leadership skills in Vettori’s absence.

“With Daniel not touring Sri Lanka, it provides an opportunity for Ross to further develop his captaincy skills,” Greatbatch said. “Ross was vice-captain for a portion of last season and did a great job leading the Blackcaps (New Zealand) to victory against Australia in Napier earlier in the year when Daniel was injured.

“Vettori will not be going to Sri Lanka as the tour coincides with the birth of his second child and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) supports his wishes to spend time with his family. He will also use this period to continue with his conditioning programme in preparation for the rigorous international schedule ahead.”

McCullum had earlier skipped the short tour of USA after the World Twenty20 to rest ahead of future tours. His participation for the tri-series was anyway in doubt, as the birth of his child was expected in the middle of the year, and Greatbatch said the break should also benefit him in the long run.

“He (McCullum) has played over 200 consecutive games for New Zealand and with a significant schedule ahead that culminates with a World Cup early next year, NZC believes it appropriate that McCullum spends the time reconditioning in New Zealand,” Greatbatch said. “He is also expecting the birth of his second child in July.”

Returning to the squad after injury lay-offs are allrounder Grant Elliott and batsman Jesse Ryder. “Grant Elliott comes back after a lengthy period out of the game. He was a key member of our ODI team prior to his injury, and it is great to have him back,” Greatbatch said. “Jesse Ryder is also returning to the team having sustained an elbow injury during the World T20 in the West Indies.

“Kane Williamson gets his first tour with the Blackcaps based on his excellent domestic first-class one-day form.”

Taylor has established himself as one of the premier batsmen in the team in all formats and he said his latest elevation was an honour. “It was a pretty special feeling when the selectors approached me,” Taylor said. “While I appreciate it will be a tough tour against quality opposition, it represents a good opportunity for players to experience subcontinent conditions, particularly with the World Cup on the horizon.”

The tri-series is scheduled between August 10 to 28. The same three teams contested a tri-series in Sri Lanka last year but New Zealand failed to make the final.

Squad: Ross Taylor (capt), Kyle Mills (vice-capt), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins (wk), Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.

Source:Cricket News

Image Source:Cricinfo

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