New Zealand announces squad for T20 series against Pakistan

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The New Zealand Cricket Council has announced its squad for the three-game series against Pakistan set to begin next Friday at Eden Park. 

“The blazing bats of Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway are once again set to light up the BLACKCAPS T20 top-order,” said the press release. “The duo were involved in a T20I world-record, third-wicket stand of 181 against the West Indies less than a fortnight ago and have been rewarded with selection in a T20 extended squad – which also features the return of Kane Williamson and Trent Boult.”

The NZC said since the T20 series is scheduled to start just three days after the current Test in Wellington, Williamson and Boult along with Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Daryl Mitchell will only be available for the December 20 game in Hamilton and December 22 match in Napier. 

Auckland Aces speedster Lockie Ferguson has been withdrawn from the squad due to a bone stress injury of lumbar spine. Wellington Firebirds paceman Hamish Bennett was also ruled out of the series with an abdominal tear. 

“Otago Volts pace bowler Jacob Duffy has earned his first call-up to the Black Caps after impressive performances in domestic cricket and for New Zealand A. The 26-year-old’s been selected for the first game and will assemble with the squad in Auckland on Tuesday December 15,” reads the NZC statement. 

Mitchell Santner will take the skipper’s arm band for the series opener at Eden Park, before taking his first break since leaving for the Caribbean Premier League back in August. His spinning spot will be backed up by leg-spinning incumbent Ish Sodhi and the recalled Todd Astle, whose last T20I came against Sri Lanka in September last year, when he claimed 3-28 in a losing cause in Pallekele.

Blair Tickner, Mark Chapman and Doug Bracewell are included for game one of the series, before making way for the Test players to return.

New Zealand Cricket Selector Gavin Larsen said this was one of the more challenging squads he’s had to select. “A combination of form, injuries and the overlapping of series has certainly added some complexity to this announcement,” he conceded.

“I’d like to acknowledge the commitment of the all the players who are having to show a large degree of flexibility and understanding this summer.”

“We were thrilled Glenn and Devon were able to take their opportunities so well in the previous series and we’re keen to give them the chance to back that up against a strong Pakistan T20 outfit.”

Black Caps T20 Squad Game 1

  1. Mitchell Santner (c)
  2. Todd Astle
  3. Doug Bracewell
  4. Mark Chapman
  5. Devon Conway
  6. Jacob Duffy
  7. Martin Guptill
  8. Scott Kuggeleijn
  9. Jimmy Neesham
  10. Glenn Phillips
  11. Tim Seifert (wk)
  12. Ish Sodhi
  13. Blair Tickner

Black Caps T20 Squad Games 2 and 3

  1. Kane Williamson (c)
  2. Todd Astle
  3. Trent Boult
  4. Devon Conway
  5. Martin Guptill
  6. Kyle Jamieson
  7. Scott Kuggeleijn
  8. Daryl Mitchell
  9. Jimmy Neesham
  10. Glenn Phillips
  11. Tim Seifert (wk)
  12. Ish Sodhi
  13. Tim Southee

According to a press release issued by the PCB, the squad was finalised by Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam in consultation with Pakistan Shaheen’s coach Ijaz Ahmed — who also locked his 16-player squad for the four-day match against New Zealand ‘A’ to be played in Whangarei from December 17.

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