• ‘Weakened’ Black Caps to tour SA

    Brendon McCullum is not the only high profile player who will miss New Zealand’s tour of South Africa in August.

    The Blacks Caps announced their squad for ODI tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe on Thursday, with four first-choice players due to miss out.

    It was announced at the end of June that McCullum would sit out the tour, but the touring squad has been further depleted with pace spearheads Trent Boult (back injury) and Tim Southee (rested) also missing the tour, along with all-rounder Corey Anderson (back injury).

    With McCullum seizing the opportunity for a break after the World Cup this year and subsequent tour of England, coach Mike Hesson said Kane Williamson will fill in as captain.

    Hesson said the absence of big names should not prevent the Black Caps displaying the form that took them to the World Cup final, calling on other squad members to ‘step up’.

    ‘Our focus is on continuing to produce strong team performances, rather than be distracted by the presence or absence of specific individuals,’ he said.

    The only new face in the squad is spinner Ish Sodhi, who will play in the Zimbabwe leg before being replaced by Doug Bracewell in South Africa.

    New Zealand will play three one-dayers and one Twenty20 in Zimbabwe before taking on South Africa in three one-dayers and two T20Is.

    The Proteas will be looking to exact revenge for their dramatic loss to New Zealand with one ball to spare in the World Cup semi-final in Auckland.

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