Kane Williamson will lead New Zealand © Getty Images
Kane Williamson will lead New Zealand © Getty Images

Wellington: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is a among a clutch of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 stars omitted from the Black Caps’ squad named Thursday for next month’s limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Pace spearheads Trent Boult (back injury) and Tim Southee (rested) will also miss the tour, along with all-rounder Corey Anderson (back injury). Read: Brendon McCullum ends speculations, will continue to lead New Zealand

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. Read: MCC supports day-night Test match call by Australia and New Zealand

New Zealand will play three one-dayers and one Twenty20 in Zimbabwe before taking on South Africa in three one-dayers and two Twenty20s. 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. Read: Mitchell Santner, Grant Elliott awarded New Zealand central contracts

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), 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.

Itinerary:

One-Day Internationals (ODIs):

August 2 v Zimbabwe, Harare, 1st ODI

August 4 v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2nd ODI

August 7 v Zimbabwe, Harare, 3rd ODI

T20 Internationals:

August 9 v Zimbabwe, Harare

August 14 v South Africa, Durban, 1st Twenty20

August 16 v South Africa, Centurion, 2nd Twenty20

One-Day Internationals (ODIs):

August 19 v South Africa, Centurion, 1st ODI

August 23 v South Africa, Potchefstroom, 2nd ODI

August 26 v South Africa, Durban, 3rd ODI