New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has opted out of the upcoming three-match T20I series against India to focus on two Tests of the 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship.
In Williamson’s absence, fast bowler Tim Southee will lead the Black Caps in the limited-overs series, starting November 17 in Jaipur. Meanwhile, the first Test of the two-match leg will begin on November 25.
“With the opening game of the T20 series on Wednesday evening, followed by games on Friday and Sunday night – the decision was made for Williamson to join the Test specialist group already training in Jaipur as they focus on red-ball preparation,” New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in a press release on Tuesday.
“Tim Southee will captain the T20 side for the opening game on Wednesday, while Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, and Mitchell Santner are also available for both series.”
Earlier, New Zealand lost to Australia in the summit clash of the recently-concluded ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 held in the UAE.
A day after facing the defeat, Williamson & Co. landed in Jaipur from Dubai. However, the Black Caps did not go through the mandatory quarantine as it was a bubble to bubble transfer.
“They arrived in the evening and will be tested as per protocol before they have their practice session tomorrow,” the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) said in a statement.
On the other hand, the hosts India, who failed to qualify for the knockouts in the 2021 T20 World Cup, will begin their assignment under new head coach Rahul Dravid.
New Zealand’s revised T20I squad for India tour:
Tim Southee (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi.