New Zealand has named a 13-player squad for their upcoming T20I series against Australia, scheduled to start on Monday, February 22. The hosts have picked Martin Guptill, who’s experienced a lingering hamstring injury in recent times. The 34-year-old played four matches for Auckland in the country’s domestic T20 tournament and scored 46 runs at an average of 11.50.
With a cloud of uncertainty regarding Guptill’s fitness, the Blackcaps selector has named 21-year-old Finn Allen on standby for the opener.
Selector Gavin Larsen spoke about the decision surrounding Martin Guptill and said:
“Martin’s our incumbent opener and our highest T20 International run-scorer, so we’re backing him to do the job at the top of the order. He will need to prove his fitness, and it’s good to know we have a ready replacement in Finn on standby.”
“Finn’s been in outstanding form and he’s certainly an exciting talent.”
Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman are set to continue in the middle order after strong start to the international season. Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Hamish Bennett make up the pace-bowling quartet, with Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi the spinners and Jimmy Neesham the all-rounder.
In the spin department, the Kiwis have gone with the tried and tested pair of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner.
Tim Seifert will don the wicketkeeping gloves. The 26-year-old starred in New Zealand’s last three-match T20I series against Pakistan, where he won the Man of the Series for scoring 176 runs. The Kiwis won that series 2-1.
The opening T20I against the Aussies will take place at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland, and Mount Maunganui are the hosts for the remaining T20Is.
New Zealand Squad:
Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.