New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have officially revealed their men’s squad for the upcoming home T20I series against Pakistan, set to commence on January 12 in Auckland. The Kiwi team, led by regular captain Kane Williamson, will feature some notable comebacks and strategic adjustments.
Kane Williamson and Devon Conway back in action
Star players Williamson and Devon Conway have made a return to the squad after being rested for the Bangladesh ODIs and T20Is. However, Williamson, who is recovering from a knee injury, will sit out the third T20I. He is expected to resume captaincy duties for the remaining four matches.
In Williamson’s absence for the third T20I, uncapped Central Districts batter Josh Clarkson has been called up to cover the position. Mitchell Santner will take over the captaincy responsibilities for that particular game.
Matt Henry returns
Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson are back in action after successfully recovering from their respective injuries. Henry, who suffered a right hamstring injury during the World Cup clash against South Africa, will feature in all five T20Is. On the other hand, Ferguson, bouncing back from an Achilles injury, is set to play in the last three matches of the series. Ben Sears, another fast bowler, has been included for the first two games against Pakistan.
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Rachin Ravindra rested
All-rounder Rachin Ravindra, who has been on a continuous cricketing journey since August last year, will be rested for the T20I series. Head Coach Gary Stead emphasized the need to prioritize Ravindra’s well-being, citing the demanding schedule the young player has endured.
“Rachin’s a young player who has immense value to New Zealand Cricket, and we, therefore, want to look after his wellbeing. He’s the only player or staff member to have been touring non-stop for the past five months across five countries, and that’s simply not sustainable,” said Stead in a statement.
New Zealand’s squad for the T20I leg against Pakistan:
Kane Williamson (c) (except game 3), Finn Allen, Tim Seifert (wk), Devon Conway (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson (game 3 only), Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ben Sears (games 1 & 2), Lockie Ferguson (games 3, 4 & 5)