New format, new faces, new opportunity

Let’s be honest, the BLACKCAPS Test series loss to England is a still raw.  A visibly disappointed Brendon McCullum acknowledges the team needs to ‘smooth out some rough edges’.

But while admitting that the team took a step backward in the Tests, McCullum was focussed on looking forward and believes that the upcoming ODIs present a whole new challenge.

“One thing that we have been able to do quite well in recent times is move between the forms of the game and refocus ourselves. That’s what it requires, albeit in a very short turn-around,“ McCullum said.

The BLACKCAPS have shown encouraging signs in the 50 over format. The historic series victory in South Africa is fresh in fans’ memories, and while the 2-1 series loss to England in March didn’t quite go to script, there were still a number of positives.

McCullum is eager to maintain that belief and is confident the addition of some experienced faces will re-energise the camp.
 
“We’ve got eight new guys coming into the side for the One Day series and the Champions Trophy, and some of those guys are really experienced.

“We’re a confident One Day unit at the moment and whilst we haven’t played together in a wee while, they guys are pretty certain about what their role is in One Day Cricket so I’m pretty confident that we’ll be fine.”

Dan Vettori, Kyle Mills, James Franklin, Nathan McCullum and Grant Elliot bring the experience, with 612 ODI appearances between them. There’s new blood in exciting young Aces players Mitchell McClenaghan and Colin Munro, as well as explosive Firebirds batsman Luke Ronchi set to make is BLACKCAPS debut after playing international cricket for Australia in the past.

The three match ODI series takes place at Lord’s, The Ageas Bowl and Trent Bridge, and is the perfect lead in to the ICC Champions Trophy, which begins for the BLACKCAPS with a match against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on 9 June.

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