Wellington: All set to welcome his second child next month, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori will skip the August ODI tri-series against India and Sri Lanka, prompting selectors to hand over the leadership reins to Ross Taylor in his absence.
"Daniel Vettori will not be going to Sri Lanka as the tour coincides with the birth of his second child and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) supports his wishes to spend time with his family," New Zealand coach and selection panel spokesman Mark Greatbatch said in a statement here today.
"Ross Taylor will captain the team in Daniel`s absence and Kyle Mills will be vice-captain of the team to Sri Lanka," he added.
Meanwhile, explosive stumper-batsman Brendon McCullum, who would also be skipping the series to be played in Sri Lanka from August 10, has announced that he would no longer keep wickets in Tests.
McCullum is also due to become a father for the second time next month.
"Brendon McCullum is also not travelling to Sri Lanka. He has played over 200 consecutive games for New Zealand and with a significant schedule ahead that culminates with a World Cup early next year, NZC believes it appropriate that McCullum spends the time reconditioning in New Zealand. He is also expecting the birth of his second child in July," Greatbatch said.
The 15-member squad sees the return of Grant Elliott and Jesse Ryder from injury.
"Grant Elliott comes back after a lengthy period out of the game. Jesse Ryder is also returning to the team having sustained an elbow injury during the World Twenty20 in the West Indies."
Kane Williamson gets his first tour with the national team based on his fine domestic First-Class one-day form. Jeetan Patel returns to the side as a replacement for Vettori.
Meanwhile, Taylor said being asked to lead his country was an honour for him.
"It was a pretty special feeling when the selectors approached me. While I appreciate it will be a tough tour against quality opposition, it represents a good opportunity for players to experience sub-continent conditions, particularly with the World Cup on the horizon," he said.
The Squad: Ross Taylor (captain), Kyle Mills (vice-captain), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins, Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.