Auckland, Dec 12 (IANS) Batsman and skipper Kane Williamson and pace bowler Trent Boult have returned to the New Zealand T20 International squad for the series against Pakistan that begins on December 18 but the two will be available only for the last two games, in Hamilton on December 20 and in Napier on December 22. Ross Taylor, was, however left out as Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway, the two South Africa-born players, were included. Mitchell Santner will captain the side in the first T20 International.
“With the T20 series scheduled to start just three days after the current Test in Wellington, Williamson and Boult along with Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Daryl Mitchell will only be available for the second and third games of the series: in Hamilton on Sunday December 20 and in Napier, Tuesday December 22, respectively,” said a statement from New Zealand Cricket.
Selector Gavin Larsen said this was one of the more challenging squads he’s had to select.
“A combination of form, injuries and the overlapping of series has certainly added some complexity to this announcement,” he said.
“It’s great to have the class of Kane and Trent returning to our T20 side having missed the West Indies series after their starring roles in the IPL in November. Kane will return and lead the side for games two and three, but we’ll obviously need to take a wait and see approach in relation to the arrival of his and Sarah’s first child. Mark Chapman’s in the squad for the opening match at Eden Park and is on stand-by for Kane for the remaining games of the series.
“Their (Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway) inclusion and the return of Kane means we’ve left out Ross Taylor. This was, as you’d imagine, a very tough decision as Ross has been a consistent performer for us, but unfortunately we just couldn’t find room in the squad for him due to the quality and form of the other batsmen,” added Larsen.
Lockie Ferguson too misses out after scans revealed a bone stress injury of his lumbar spine.
“The injury to Lockie is obviously a concern considering what he brings to our bowling attack and we’re awaiting more information around his rehabilitation.”
New Zealand T20 squad (first game vs Pakistan)
Mitchell Santner (c), Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.
New Zealand T20 squad (second and third games vs Pakistan)
Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.