New Zealand will be without their talismanic captain Kane Williamson for their upcoming five-match T20I series against England. The series will kickstart New Zealand’s bumper home season. The Black Caps will now have to start the season without their captain who has suffered a hip injury. In his absence, veteran pacer Tim Southee will lead the team.
Along with Williamson, New Zealand will also miss the services of their pace spearhead Trent Boult although for the first three games. The hosts have decided to rest the pacer keeping in mind the Test series that will take place after the T20Is. Williamson, meanwhile, played in the Plunket Shield this week for Northern Districts. However, the team-management is of the opinion that rest is the best option for the star man.
“We’ve been monitoring the injury for a while now and it’s the same issue that ruled him out of the final Test against Bangladesh back in March,” head coach Gary Stead said. “It’s disappointing timing for Kane at the start of an exciting Kiwi summer, but we feel it’s the right decision with a busy season ahead.
“We’re fortunate to have someone experienced like Tim who can comfortably step in and take the reins, as he successfully did on the recent tour of Sri Lanka,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Southee did have a impressive tour of Sri Lanka as New Zealand’s T20I captain. The pacer led his nation to a famous 2-1 win over the Islanders after Williamson was rested for the series. Prior to the T20Is, Williamson had helped New Zealand draw the Test series 1-1. The New Zealand captain has only played one game since that tour when he scored 26 for Northern Districts against Canterbury.
New Zealand have named fast bowler Lockie Ferguson in the squad for the first three games. The pacer is due to make his return from a thumb injury in England‘s warm-up matches ahead of the series. Boult will replace Ferguson in the squad for the last two T20Is. Boult will play in the second round of the Plunket Shield for Northern Districts.
“In working with Trent and looking at the season ahead, we feel another four-day game will provide him with the best preparation for the upcoming Test series against England and Australia,” Stead said.
New Zealand have also recalled all-rounder Jimmy Neesham for the series along with pace bowler Blair Tickner, who has played just one T20I so far. On the other hand, Todd Astle, Tom Bruce and Seth Rance have lost their places in the squad.
New Zealand T20I squad:
Tim Southee (capt), Trent Boult (games 4-5), Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson (games 1-3), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner.
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