NZ vs IND: Here’s why Kane Williamson and Rohit Sharma are not in the playing XI for Wellington T20I

After defeating New Zealand in the third T20I, India are ahead with 3-0 in the ongoing five-match series. The ‘Men in Blue’ will be now focusing to clean sweep the Kiwis as they head on to Sky Stadium in Wellington to play the fourth game on Friday (Jan 31).

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson didn’t come for the toss as he missed out on the fourth match due to an injury. Williamson hurt his left shoulder while diving in the field in game 3. In his absence, pacer Tim Southee will lead the team.


Meanwhile, Southee won the toss and decided to bowl first. The Black Caps have made two changes, including the forced change of Williamson. Tom Bruce has been added in the playing XI replacing Colin de Grandhomme, while Daryl Mitchell has replaced Williamson.

“We are gonna bowl first. Looks like a good wicket. Kane’s got a niggle on his shoulder. He should be fine in a couple of days. We need to keep improving. Tom Bruce comes in for Colin de Grandhomme, and Daryl Mitchell comes in for Kane,” said Southee at the toss.


India has also made a few changes in the playing XI. ‘Hitman’ Rohit Sharma has been rested, along with Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. Kerala-born Sanju Samson has replaced Rohit and will open the innings with KL Rahul. All-rounder Washington Sundar has been called in to replace Jadeja. Young speedster Navdeep Saini has been added as well, replacing Shami.

“We would have probably bowled first as well. This side (square boundary) is pretty short. Looks like a good track as Tim mentioned, should stay good throughout but the only factor you could consider is wind. It’s a matter of coming out and executing our plans. We spoke in the team meeting about how good a game that was. We haven’t had a game like that in a while. Either we’ve had easy victories or quite one-sided losses. For us as a side, it was a massive confidence booster, specially the way we have played in T20s so far this season. The team is playing so amazingly well. We have rested Rohit, Shami and Jadeja. Samson to open, Washington Sundar and Saini are in. Three exciting additions to the side,” said Kohli at the toss.

Here are the playing XI of both teams:


New Zealand (Playing XI): Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tom Bruce, Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee(c), Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett.

India (Playing XI): Sanju Samson, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini.

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Akshat is just another cricket fan who’s grown up watching the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Cricket runs in his veins. Cover drive is his favorite sight, and a ball meeting the middle of the bat is his favorite sound. You can write to him at akshat.gaur@crickettimes.com or get in touch with him on linkedin.