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Kane Williamson to replace McCullum as NZ captain for Zinmbabwe, South Africa series


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) _ Kane Williamson will captain New Zealand in the limited overs series in Zimbabwe and South Africa next month in the absence of Brendon McCullum, who is being rested.

McCullum and fast bowler Tim Southee have been omitted from the touring squad to recover from a heavy workload since the Cricket World Cup. Leading swing bowler Trent Boult and all-rounder Corey Anderson are unavailable because of injuries.

Batsmen Tom Latham and Colin Munro have been recalled along with all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and fast bowler Adam Milne, who have recently recovered from injury.

Leg spinner Ish Sodhi has also been named for the Zimbabwe leg of the tour just days after being dropped from New Zealand’s list of contracted players. Fast bowler Doug Bracewell will take Sodhi’s place for the South Africa series.

“We think Ish will be useful on pitches which tend to be slow and take turn, and against a Zimbabwe team stacked with right-handers,” coach Mike Hesson said. “But we’re unlikely to need a third spinner in South Africa which is why we’ve opted for another seamer in Doug.”

New Zealand will play three one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe at Harare between August 2 and 9 and two Twenty20 matches and three ODIs against South Africa from August 14 to 26.

“There are chances there for batsmen such as Tom (Latham) and Colin (Munro), for Ish and for a handful of bowlers,” Hesson said. “And, not least, it’s another good opportunity for Kane Williamson to continue upskilling in terms of leadership.”

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New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Doug Bracewell, Grant Elliott, Matt Henry, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.

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