New Zealand T20I squad: Tim Southee to lead versus Sri Lanka in Kane Williamson’s absence
The Blackcaps will be led by Tim Southee for three T20Is. © Getty

Tim Southee has been named captain of New Zealand for their three-match T20I series in Sri Lanka next month.

Southee has got the nod with Kane Williamson and Trent Boult set to return home after the second Test against Sri Lanka, and before the tour match at Katunayake on August 29.

The T20Is are scheduled for September 1, 3 and 9 at Kandy.

Southee has led New Zealand in three prior T20Is.

New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said the upcoming series represented the start of a new T20I cycle, which contains nine games leading into the 2020 ICC 20 World Cup in Australia next October.

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“Following that amazing ride in the ODI World Cup, it’s exciting to begin setting our sights on another world event,” Larsen said. “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. 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.”

Southee, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Martin Guptill and Ish Sodhi add the experienced of 307 T20Is between them.

New Zealand have named three spinners in Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle.

New Zealand are ranked sixth in T20Is and Sri Lanka eighth.

BLACKCAPS T20I squad: Tim Southee (capt), Todd Astle, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor