Attacking opener Martin Guptill will have to prove his fitness ahead of the T20I series against Australia after being named in the 13-man squad. The right-hander missed the final two games of the Super Smash with a hamstring injury.
New Zealand will host Australia for a 5-match T20I series commencing 22nd February in Christchurch. While Guptill has joined the squad in Christchurch on Friday, he will have to pass the fitness Tests before the series begins.
Finn Allen named as the stand-by for Martin Guptill
21-year-old batsman, Finn Allen has been named in the squad as a stand-by for Martin Guptill, in case, the first-choice opener doesn’t recover in time.
While Martin Guptill hasn’t really been in form this season – 46 runs in 3 matches against Pakistan and three single-digit scores in his last four Super Smash innings – on the other hand, Allen has been in tremendous touch with the bat scoring 512 runs in 11 innings, including six fifties in the Super Smash.
“Finn’s been in outstanding form and he’s certainly an exciting talent. Martin’s our incumbent opener and our highest T20 International run-scorer, so we’re backing him to do the job at the top of the order, but he will need to prove his fitness and it’s good to know we have a ready replacement in Finn on stand-by,” New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said in a statement.
All-rounder, James Neesham is back in the fray after undergoing finger surgery last month.
Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, and Mark Chapman continue to remain in the T20I squad after an impressive show against Pakistan, while veteran batsman, Ross Taylor is sidelined from the T20I team once again. Tim Seifert, Man of the Series and the leading run-scorer against Pakistan will don the gloves.
In the bowling department, there isn’t any change as Trent Boult, Tim Southee will be supported by the youngster, Kyle Jamieson and in the spin department, Kane Williamson will have both Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi at his disposal.
For Australia, Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, and Patrick Cummins are rested from the tour.
New Zealand T20I Squad:
Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Hamish Bennett, Finn Allen (standby for Guptill).