New Zealand has finalized a 15-member squad, to be led by Mitchell Santner, to lock horns with India in a 3-match T20I series in January-February. Left-arm pacer Ben Lister, who was named Auckland Cricket’s Men’s Bowler of the Year last season, has earned a maiden call-up in the squad that wears a similar look from last year’s T20 World Cup, with as many as nine players featuring from that unit.
Leg-spinning all-rounder Michael Rippon has returned to the setup after his debut against Scotland, while the touring party also includes all-rounder Henry Shipley, who only recently made his international debut, in the first ODI of the ongoing series against Pakistan.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of notable absentees due to a combination of rest and injures: regular skipper Kane Williamson and Tim Southee have been rested while Kyle Jamieson (back), Matt Henry (abdomen), Adam Milne (side) and Ben Sears (back) have not been named due to injuries.
In Williamson’s absence, Santner – no stranger to leadership, having won eight of the 10 T20Is he has led New Zealand in – will be at the helm. “Mitch is a leader in our white ball teams and has captained the T20 side in India before. His experience in Indian conditions will be invaluable leading this group,” chief selector Gavin Larsen said of Santner.
Our T20 Squad to face India in 3 T20Is starting later this month in Ranchi! Congratulations to @aucklandcricket's Ben Lister and @CanterburyCrick's Henry Shipley on being selected in a BLACKCAPS T20 Squad for the first time. More | https://t.co/bwMhO2Zb76 #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/jFpWbGPtGx
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 12, 2023
Larsen also spoke highly of potential debutant Lister, whose last tour to these shores of the world, with the A team, was cut short due to illness. “Ben has made an exciting impact for Auckland early in his career in red and white ball cricket. 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.”
New Zealand will face India in three ODIs and as many T20Is, fixtures to be played in that order as the tour starts in Hyderabad on January 18, followed by encounters in Raipur and Indore on January 21 and 24. The T20Is will be played in Ranchi, Lucknow and Ahmedabad on January 27, 29 and February 1 respectively.
New Zealand’s squad for India T20Is: Mitchell Santner (C), 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