Left-handed all-rounder Mitchell Santner will lead the Black Caps on the upcoming T20I series in India, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Thursday. Santner was named captain as Kane Williamson and his deputy Tim Southee have chosen not to travel to India after the ongoing tour of Pakistan.
Ben Lister, a 27-year-old fast bowler from Auckland, has received his maiden call-up in the New Zealand squad. He toured India with New Zealand A squad in September 2022 and was named Auckland Cricket’s Men’s Bowler of the Year last season.
“Ben has made an exciting impact for Auckland early in his career in red and white-ball cricket,” New Zealand’s chief selector Gavin Larsen said in a press release.
“Since his debut in late 2017, he is the Aces’ leading wicket-taker in T20 and List A cricket. His ability to swing the ball considerably as a left-armer is particularly exciting.
“We all felt for Ben after his tour ended the way it did last year, and it’s a testament to his work ethic that he’s been able to return to domestic cricket so strongly this season.”
Till now, Santner has captained the Black Caps in 11 T20Is – eight of which were in Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands last year.
“Mitch is a leader in our white-ball teams and has captained the T20 side in India [in Kolkata in 2021] before,” Larsen said. “His experience in Indian conditions will be invaluable leading this group.”
NZC also reported that fast bowlers Kyle Jamieson (back), Adam Milne (side), Matt Henry (abdominal) and Ben Sears (back) were not considered for selection because they are currently recovering from their respective injuries.
New Zealand’s tour of India commences with the ODI series on January 18 in Hyderabad. The T20I rubber begins on January 27 in Ranchi with the second and third games scheduled to take place in Lucknow and Ahmedabad.
New Zealand’s T20I squad for India:
Mitchell Santner (captain), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Ben Lister, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Michael Rippon, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.