Mitchell Santner. @ AFP

New Zealand have welcomed back Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Latham for the first three games of the five-match ODI series against India, starting in Napier on January 23.

Coach Gary Stead said the composition of the squad reflected the selectors’ desire to keep their options open ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019, while still giving themselves the best possible chance of winning the upcoming series against Virat Kohli’s tourists.

Todd Astle (knee) and James Neesham (hamstring) have not been included in the initial group of 14 and have been asked to prove their fitness in the Super Smash before being considered for the final two matches of the series. (ALSO READ: Familiarity with conditions in New Zealand will help me: Siddarth Kaul)

Latham and de Grandhomme both sat out the Sri Lankan white-ball series, while Santner – who last played an ODI for New Zealand against England in Christchurch last March, produced a solid performance in last Friday’s one-off T20I against Sri Lanka at Eden Park.

Doug Bracewell, another to impress under lights on Friday evening, retains his place in the ODI squad, having not played in any of the three 50-over games against Sri Lanka.

“Our two main priorities have been to select and prepare a squad capable of winning what is shaping as a massive series against India, and gathering as much information as possible ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales,” said Stead. (ALSO READ: Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill named replacements for Pandya, Rahul)

“Tom and Colin are experienced players in this format and will offer quality in their respective roles, and Mitch and Doug showed us what they are capable of during the T20 on Friday night.”

Stead said that, all going well, Neesham and Astle would join the squad for games four and five.

“We were impressed by Jimmy against Sri Lanka, and are keen to see more of Todd – who has a different skillset and performed well for us last year.

“It’s just important that, after their respective injuries, we can see them playing again and be confident of bringing them back at this level.”

New Zealand’s ODI squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

(Press Release)