The New Zealand Cricket Council has announced its squad for the three-game series against Pakistan set to begin next Friday at Eden Park.
Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has been dropped for the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Pakistan, while Kane Williamson and Trent Boult have been recalled after they were rested for last month’s series against West Indies.
Taylor’s omission was because of the form of Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips, selector Gavin Larsen said in a statement on Saturday. The duo were involved in a T20I world-record, third-wicket stand of 181 against the West Indies less than a fortnight ago.
“This was, as you’d imagine, a very tough decision as Ross has been a consistent performer for us,” Larsen said. “But unfortunately we just couldn’t find room in the squad for him due to the quality and form of the other batsmen.”
Williamson’s inclusion for the second and third match only, however, was conditional on the birth of his first child, which had seen him withdraw from the ongoing second Test against West Indies in Wellington.
Mitchell Santner would captain the side for the first match on December 18 in Auckland, with Williamson potentially returning for the other two games on December 20 in Hamilton and December 22 in Napier.
Pace bowlers Lockie Ferguson and Hamish Bennett have also both been ruled out of the series with injuries, ensuring a first callup for Jacob Duffy.
Scans revealed that Ferguson has a stress fracture in his back, while Bennett was ruled out with an abdominal tear.
None of the players currently involved in the second Test in Wellington would be available for the first Twenty20 game.
New Zealand Twenty20 squads:
Mitchell Santner (captain), Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.
2nd & 3rd Match:
Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.
Pakistan already announced an 18-player men’s national squad for the three T20Is against New Zealand last week.
Pakistan’s T20I Squad:
1. Babar Azam (captain), 2. Shadab Khan (vice-captain), 3. Abdullah Shafique, 4. Faheem Ashraf, 5. Haider Ali, 6. Haris Rauf, 7. Hussain Talat, 8. Iftikhar Ahmed, 9. Imad Wasim, 10. Khushdil Shah, 11. Mohammad Hafeez, 12. Mohammad Hasnain, 13. Mohammad Musa Khan, 14. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 15. Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), 16. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 17. Usman Qadir, 18. Wahab Riaz.