New Zealand have dropped middle-order batsman Ross Taylor from their T20I squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan, while Kane Williamson will miss the first match.
Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway, who stitched a record 181-run stand for the third wicket against West Indies last month, have retained their spots in the team leaving no place for the 36-year-old Taylor.
“This was, as you’d imagine, a very tough decision as Ross has been a consistent performer for us, but unfortunately we just couldn’t find room in the squad for him due to the quality and form of the other batsmen,” said chief selector Gavin Larsen in his statement.
Williamson, who had withdrawn from the ongoing second Test against West Indies as his wife Sarah is set to give birth to their first child this month, has been selected for the last two Pakistan T20Is on December 20 and 22.
Hong Kong-born Mark Chapman was also named in the 13-man squad for the series opener at Eden Park on December 18, and he will be on stand-by for Williamson for the remaining two games.
“Kane will return and lead the side for games two and three, but we’ll obviously need to take a wait and see approach in relation to the arrival of his and Sarah’s first child,” Larsen added.
The chief selector further confirmed that fast bowler Lockie Ferguson wasn’t available for selection due to a bone stress injury.
New Zealand T20I squad for 1st T20I against Pakistan: Mitchell Santner (c), Martin Guptill, Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Scott Kuggeleijn, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner
New Zealand squad for 2nd and 3rd T20I: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.