Tim Southee has been named the stand-in captain by New Zealand for their upcoming three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. The Black Caps, who recently made it to the final of the World Cup, have decided to rest their skipper Kane Williamson and pace spearhead Trent Boult in order to manage their workloads.
While Williamson and Boult were New Zealand’s main players at the World Cup, Southee played just one game. He recently returned to action during the first Test against Sri Lanka. Before the mega event, Williamson and Boult had also played in the Indian Premier League for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals respectively.
“Kane and Trent played an enormous role in our recent World Cup campaign and with a big summer ahead, we see it as a good opportunity to give them a rest,” said selector Gavin Larsen.
Keeping the conditions in mind, New Zealand have picked three specialist spinners in the team in the form of Todd Astle, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner. The Kiwis have also recalled wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert, who suffered a finger injury earlier this year. The injury had also dashed his World Cup hopes.
Seamer Doug Bracewell, who was a part of the squad for the games against India at home earlier this year, has been left out. He has been replaced by Seth Rance. Hard-hitting Tom Bruce, who last played a T20I in February 2018, has also made a comeback to the squad. Bruce had a stunning campaign in the Super Smash where he scored 353 runs in 11 innings at an average of nearly 40.
Eyes on T20 World Cup
Gavin Larsen said that New Zealand have now set their sight on next year’s T20 World Cup after a dream run in this year’s 50-over World Cup. Australia will host the T20 World Cup in November 2020.
“Following that amazing ride in the ODI World Cup, it’s exciting to begin setting our sights on another world event,” Larsen said according to New Zealand Cricket’s official website. “The series in Sri Lanka will be a challenging one against a team who are tough to beat in their own conditions. Our T20 team has been pretty consistent over the past couple of years and we’re really happy with the power and versatility we have in this squad, he further added.
The three-match T20I series will begin on September 1 in Pallekele while the other two matches will be played on September 3 and 6 at the same venue.
New Zealand squad:
Tim Southee (capt), Todd Astle, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhome, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor.
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