Kane Williamson, Trent Boult return to New Zealand T20I squad For Pakistan T20Is
Image: ICC

After being rested for the West Indies series, New Zealand stars – Kane Williamson and Trent Boult – were named in the squad for the upcoming T20Is against Pakistan. Veteran cricketer Ross Taylor has not been picked for the much-awaited series.

In the absence of Williamson and Boult, Mitchell Santner will lead the side in the first T20I – which begins in Auckland on 18 December.

Meanwhile, Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway who were involved in a record 181-run stand for the third wicket in the second T20I against West Indies just a couple of weeks ago have been retained.

Lockie Ferguson and Hamish Bennett have been ruled out of the series due to injuries.

Among new faces, fast bowler Jacob Duffy has earned his maiden call-up and will be available for the first match. Blair Tickner, Mark Chapman and Doug Bracewell have been included for the opening game as well.

Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle will form the spin trio along with Santer. Astle, who has featured in three T20Is so far, last played a game in September 2019.

“A combination of form, injuries and the overlapping of series has certainly added some complexity to this announcement,” said Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen. “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.

“We were thrilled Glenn and Devon were able to take their opportunities so well in the previous series and we’re keen to give them the chance to back that up against a strong Pakistan T20 outfit.

“Their 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 batsman.”

1st T20I squad: 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

2nd and 3rd T20I squad: 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

(With ICC inputs)