New Zealand have dropped veteran Ross Taylor from their T20I squad as they announced an extended 18-member party for the upcoming three-match series against Pakistan. Along with Taylor, fast-bowler Lockie Ferguson is also out of the series after sustaining a stress fracture of his lumbar spine.
Fast-bowler Hamish Bennett could not make it to the squad either because of an abdominal tear sustained in round three of the Ford Trophy. New Zealand have rewarded Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway by keeping them in the squad for the forthcoming series.
The duo featured in a T20 world record 181 stand for the third wicket against the West Indies last month. Their inclusion coupled with the return of captain Kane Williamson has led to the omission of 36-year-old Taylor. The senior batsman’s omission is a big indication that he is not in the plans for next year’s T20 World Cup.
“This was, as you’d imagine, a very tough decision as Ross has been a consistent performer for us, but unfortunately we just couldn’t find room in the squad for him due to the quality and form of the other batsmen,” said selector Gavin Larsen.
With the first of the three T20Is set to be played only three days after the conclusion of the ongoing second Test against West Indies, New Zealand’s Test regulars like regular captain Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, along with Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Daryl Mitchell, will link up with the T20I squad only ahead of the last two games in Hamilton on December 20 and in Napier, on December 22.
Kane Williamson is also absent from the current second Test against the West Indies as he and wife Sarah await the arrival of their first child, but has been named to play in the final two T20s.
“Kane will return and lead the side for games two and three, but we’ll obviously need to take a wait and see approach in relation to the arrival of his and Sarah’s first child,” Larsen said. “Mark Chapman’s in the squad for the opening match at Eden Park and is on stand-by for Kane for the remaining games of the series.”
New Zealand squad for 1st T20I:
Mitchell Santner (c), Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner
New Zealand squad for 2nd and 3rd T20Is:
Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee
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