New Zealand Cricket have announced their Test and T20I squads for the upcoming home series against West Indies. The series will mark the resumption of international cricket for New Zealand. They last played international cricket in March with a behind-closed-doors ODI against Australia in Sydney before the emerging Covid-19 pandemic forced the series to be cancelled.
West Indies, on the other hand, returned to action in July with the Test series in England. Coming to the squad, the Black Caps have included uncapped Auckland Aces batsman Devon Conway in the T20I side. Colin Munro wasn’t considered for selection because of his Big Bash League commitments.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming Devon into our environment for the first time and I’m sure he’ll soak up the experience,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said.
The hosts have rested their captain Kane Williamson for the series. In his absence, pacer Tim Southee will lead the side. Trent Boult has also been left out of the T20I side in favour of Test preparation.
Kyle Jamieson, who made his ODI and Test debut against India earlier this year, has earned his first T20I call-up.But along with Southee and Ross Taylor, Jamieson will only be available for the first two matches before linking up with the Test team.
“We’ve had to make a decision on Kane and Trent to prioritise the Test matches, given how important they are to our red-ball team and the fact they both played such big roles in the recent IPL while also managing injuries.
“There’s no secret we’re right in the hunt for the World Test Championship Final following our two-nil win over India and having Trent and Kane fully fit and focussed for the upcoming series will be crucial,” Stead said.
The hosts have some injury concerns too ahead of the series. Their Test players Colin de Grandhomme (right foot) and Ajaz Patel (left calf) are still nursing injuries but have been picked in the 13-man squad. Stead is hopeful that the duo will recover in time for the series.
“Colin and Ajaz have quite different injuries which are requiring a different return to play protocols. It’s too early at this stage to definitively say what their chances are but we’re hopeful the next two weeks will make that clearer,” he said.
New Zealand T20I Squad:
Tim Southee (c), Hamish Bennett, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Seifert (wk), Ross Taylor
New Zealand Test Squad:
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young