2027 World Cup on Stead's agenda during Bangladesh ODI series


New Zealand have a number of fresh faces for the upcoming home ODI series against Bangladesh. Their squad for the three-game series has four players – Adithya Ashok, Will O’Rourke, Ben Sears, and Josh Clarkson – with no experience at the ODI level. Of these, Ashok and Sears have represented the Black Caps in T20Is.

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Speaking at a press conference before the ODI series, head coach Gary Stead explained the rationale behind introducing new faces to New Zealand's setup.

“Look, the guys who have been rested have been away for a long period of time,” Stead said. “If you look back, it's anything up to three to four months away on the road. So for us, finding that balance between playing series and looking at the health and physical wellbeing of these players is really important.

“We've got a huge summer in front of us with a lot of cricket coming up. So it's really having conversations with the guys that when they are playing, they are mentally fresh and ready to go.”

He also pitched the upcoming series as a starting point for a new Cricket World Cup cycle, and thus an opportunity for the Kiwis to look at some new faces.

“It's also the start of an ICC [Cricket World Cup] cycle. So this is the first ODI games when we prepare for 2027 in South Africa. And whilst that might seem a long time away, we don't actually play any other ODIs for another nine or ten months after this. So it's an opportunity to look at some potential faces for the future.”

Stead believed that each uncapped player had something to offer to the Black Caps.

“The reason they've been selected is we've seen things we like in their game. So it's really about coming in and just being themselves. We try and put them in roles similar to what they play in domestic games.

“Sometimes it's slightly different, so it's just making sure they're nice and clear on what their roles are and what we expect of them. But really, it's about being themselves and coming in and enjoying the environment.”

The Bangladesh tour of New Zealand begins on 17 December.

New Zealand squad:Tom Latham, Adi Ashok (matches 2 and 3), Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Adam Milne, Henry Nicholls, Will O’Rourke, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi (match 1), Will Young, Ben Sears (match 1).

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