The Black Caps will offer a glimpse of the future when they begin their three-match one-day international series against Zimbabwe in Harare on Sunday.
Without regular captain Brendon McCullum, seamers Trent Boult and Tim Southee, and all-rounder Corey Anderson, the New Zealanders are up against a Zimbabwe team rejuvenated by their recent Twenty20 victory over India.
Kane Williamson will captain the Black Caps on the tour, which also includes a Twenty20 match.
The New Zealanders then travel on to South Africa for two T20s and three one-day internationals.
“With the volume of cricket we’ve got coming up, but also with the volume we’ve just had, it’s important that we use a full squad so we can keep guys fresh and fit,” Williamson said.
“Brendon’s our captain, but for our team to continue progressing the way it has been, it’s important that I can take over from him when he needs a break.”
Williamson said the Black Caps weren’t expecting an easy ride against the improving Zimbabweans.
“We’ve seen in the past how Zimbabwe have been playing their one-day cricket, in particular in their home conditions.
“To take on India the way they did was an extremely good effort, in conditions that India are probably quite suited to
“We’re certainly expecting a tough challenge – we’ve got quite a new-look side as well, so it’s exciting for us.”
All-rounder George Worker could make his international debut on Sunday, while leg-spinner Ish Sodhi is in line for his first ODI appearance, given the slower and more turn-friendly pitch.
Coach Mike Hesson says world No.3 New Zealand would have to play well in Harare, despite the disparity in rankings with 11th-ranked Zimbabwe.
“We’ve got a slightly new look side, but we’re very respectful of our opposition,” he said.
“We’ve also set a standard over the last couple of years of what we expect as a side, so those guys that are joining the group are well aware of that and really keen to keep up to the standards we’ve set.”