New Zealand rest Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor for Sri Lanka tour; Kane Williamson to lead

Brendon McCullum (left) and Ross Taylor were left out of the New Zealand limited overs tour of Sri Lanka so they can prepare for the upcoming home Test series against the West Indies © Getty Images

Wellington: Oct 26, 2013

Senior New Zealand cricketers Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor will sit out next month’s tour of Sri Lanka so they can prepare for the upcoming home Test series against the West Indies, chief selector Bruce Edgar said Saturday.

The pair will return home after the current tour of Bangladesh with 23-year-old Kane Williamson replacing McCullum as captain in Sri Lanka, where New Zealand will play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20s.

“Ross and Brendon need red ball preparation to be at their best for the summer,” Edgar said.

“Both players are vital to our success and fine tuning their red ball skills before the West Indies series starting in early December is paramount.”

As Taylor and McCullum play all three formats of the game, Edgar said it was important to manage their playing loads as New Zealand face 37 home days of cricket against the West Indies and then India.

McCullum and Taylor are expected to play domestic cricket in New Zealand before the first Test against the West Indies starting in Dunedin on December 3.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi and pace bowler Ian Butler will join the New Zealand side in Sri Lanka.

New Zealand squad for Sri Lanka: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Ian Butler, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford.

New Zealand tour of Sri Lanka 2013 itinerary:

November 10: First ODI, Hambantota

November 12: Second ODI, Hambantota

November 16: Third ODI, Dambulla

November 19: First T20I, Kandy

November 21: Second T20I, Kandy