A fit-again Kane Williamson will mark his comeback in the shortest format, against India, and is set to play his first T20I after almost a year. His last game in this format had come back in February 2019. Williamson will be leading the Blackcaps in all the five matches. There are no surprises at the top of the order as Martin Guptill and Colin Munro have kept their spots.
Tim Seifert, who is in exceptional form in the Super Smash, is also a part of the squad along with regular Ross Taylor.
Daryl Mitchell, Colin de Grandhomme – he will be replaced by Tom Bruce for the last two T20Is – and Scott Kuggeleijn are three pace bowling all-rounders in the squad while Mitchell Santner is the spin-bowling all-rounder. Ish Sodhi pipped in-form Ajaz Patel for a place in the squad.
The selectors recalled right-arm pacer, Hamish Bennett. An uncapped player in this format, Bennett has played one Test and 16 ODIs so far. He has been rewarded for his consistent performance in Super Smash – he has 14 wickets in 10 matches.
Tim Southee will lead the pace attack in the absence of Trent Boult. Pacer Lockie Ferguson is also recovering from an issue which he suffered during his Test debut against Australia in Perth.
The five-match T20I series kicks off on January 24, with the first T20I to be played at Eden Park in Auckland. It will also host the second T20I on January 26. The next three T20Is will be played in Hamilton, Wellington and Mount Maunganui on January 29, 31 and February 2, respectively. After the T20Is, the two teams will also play three ODIs and two Tests.
India have already confirmed their T20I squad for the series. Sanju Samson was the only player to be dropped as Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami made their comebacks in the shortest format.
New Zealand squad: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (Captain), Ross Taylor, Tom Bruce (for 4th & 5th match) Colin de Grandhomme (matches 1st to 3rd), Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, Hamish Bennett,