New Zealand, on Wednesday, announced their 14-man squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against India. The Black Caps will host India for a full-fledged series, starting this month. India will play five T20Is, three ODIs and as many Tests against the Black Caps. The five-match T20I series will kickstart the long tour on January 24.
The hosts have recalled Hamish Bennett who last played for New Zealand in 2017. The right-arm pacer has so far played one Test and 16 ODIs for the Black Caps and is yet to make his T20I debut. His last appearance for New Zealand came in May 2017 when he played an ODI against Bangladesh in Dunedin. With first-choice pacers Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson still recovering from injuries, Bennett is in line to make his T20I debut.
New Zealand had to leave out a number of big names due to injuries and some of them are – Matt Henry (left thumb), Tom Latham (right pinky), Seth Rance (achilles), Doug Bracewell (knee), Will Young (right shoulder), and Adam Milne (ankle). As far as the bowling department is concerned, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, Scott Kuggeleijn and Bennett form the pace attack while Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi are the two spinners.
“We’re delighted to have Hamish back in the fold for what will be a huge series against India,” selector Gavin Larsen said. “Over the past few seasons he’s consistently been one of the top domestic white-ball bowlers and we’ve been impressed how he’s been able to evolve his game.
“We all know he brings good pace and bounce but it’s the clever variations he’s added that make him such a well-rounded T20 bowler,” he added.
Williamson returns to lead New Zealand
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has returned to the T20I team too. The right-handed batsman had missed the T20I series against England in November with a hip injury. He also missed the Sydney Test against Australia due to an illness. The Black Caps have also recalled Tom Bruce, who will be part of the squad for the last two games, swapping out with Colin de Grandhomme.
Jimmy Neesham, meanwhile, has not made it to the squad. The allrounder, who missed the final two round-robin games of the Super Smash with an injured quad muscle, will play for New Zealand A in three one-day matches against India A, starting next week.
New Zealand T20I squad:
Kane Williamson (capt), Hamish Bennett, Tom Bruce (games 4-5), Colin de Grandhomme (games 1-3), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.
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