Kiwi fast bowler Tim Southee is all set to lead the Black Caps in the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka. Regular skipper Kane Williamson and pacer Trent Boult have been rested.
Both Williamson and Boult will go back to New Zealand after the second and final Test match against the island nation, slated to begin on Thursday in Colombo.
The Tim Southee-led squad will feature three specialist spinners – Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle.
New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said that the team performed remarkably well in the 2019 World Cup. They would now concentrate on the next big tournament – the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020. But before the mega event, the Kiwis will play nine T20I series.
“Following that amazing ride in the ODI World Cup, it’s exciting to begin setting our sights on another world event,” Larsen said.
“The series in Sri Lanka will be a challenging one against a team who are tough to beat in their own conditions.”
“Our T20 team has been pretty consistent over the past couple of years and we’re really happy with the power and versatility we have in this squad. Kane and Trent played an enormous role in our recent World Cup campaign and with a big summer ahead, we see it as a good opportunity to give them a rest,” he added.
Meanwhile, Northern Districts’ wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert, who was not a part of the World Cup team in England, returns to the squad.
The T20I series between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka gets underway on September 1 in Kandy.
Here’s the 14-member squad –
Tim Southee (c), Todd Astle, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor.