The Black Caps have rested several key players – and their coach, Tim Southee will lead – for their one-off Twenty20 clash against Sri Lanka next Friday.
Captain Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, and Colin de Grandhomme have all been given a game off, while coach Gary Stead is taking a break before the India series later this month, leaving Craig McMillan to coach the side.
Tim Southee will captain the side in Williamson’s absence, and will have the services of Mitchell Santner to call on, as the 26-year-old returns to the international fold following knee surgery in March.
Fresh off his stunning 47 off 13 balls in the Black Caps’ ODI victory yesterday, Jimmy Neesham has earned a recall to the Twenty20 side, as has Henry Nicholls, while Scott Kuggeleijn has received his maiden T20 call-up.
Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen says rotating the squad is important after a busy start to the home summer.
“It’s nice to have the luxury of freshening up a few of our key guys following a long tour of the UAE and a fast transition into the home summer,” said Larsen.
“That presents a great opportunity for the likes of Henry, Scott and Jimmy – who have all been performing strongly for their respective teams recently and deserve their chances should they come.
“Tim did a really good job leading the side against Pakistan and the West Indies last season and he’s got a nice mix of proven performers and some fresh faces to work with.”
Mark Chapman and Ajaz Patel drop out of the squad which played against Pakistan in the UAE, while Adam Milne and Corey Anderson weren’t considered for selection as they continue to get back to full fitness. Todd Astle is nearing a return with Canterbury in domestic cricket.
Tim Southee (c)
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