Kane Williamson to miss India T20Is, Southee will lead NZ
In a major development, Kane Williamson will miss New Zealand's T20I series against India, starting tomorrow. Williamson, who powered the Kiwis to the final of 2021 T20 World Cup, is preparing for the two-match Test series in India. Meanwhile, pace spearhead Tim Southee will lead NZ in the T20I series. The first of three-match series will be played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.
Why does this story matter?
Williamson led New Zealand's T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE. Under him, the Black Caps qualified for their first final in the tournament. However, he needs to pay equal attention to Test cricket, which has been his preferred format. Senior pacer Southee is potent enough to lead the T20I side in Williamson's absence, as has been the case in past.
A media release confirmed the development
Williamson had arrived in Jaipur on Monday, less than 24 hours after the team played the T20 WC final. "With the opening game of the T20I series on Wednesday, 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," a media release stated.
Williamson powered New Zealand to T20 WC final
Williamson recently became the first New Zealand captain to lead the side to the T20 World Cup final. Although the Kiwis eventually finished as the runners-up, Williamson played one of the greatest knocks in the summit clash against Australia. He registered the joint-highest score in a men's T20 World Cup final, with Marlon Samuels (85* vs England, 2016).
Southee set to lead New Zealand in T20Is
Southee is set to spearhead NZ's T20I side. Under him, NZ have won 12 of 18 T20Is. Southee, who has won his last five T20Is as captain, is set to reach a significant landmark. He is one wicket away from breaking a tie with Lasith Malinga in terms of T20I wickets (107). With this, Southee will have the most T20I wickets by a pacer.
New Zealand's squad for India T20I series
New Zealand's squad for India T20I series: Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wicket-keeper), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (captain)
A look at the other details
The likes of Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, and Mitchell Santner are available for selection for both T20I and Test series. New Zealand Cricket revealed the same. Meanwhile, Lockie Ferguson returns to the T20I fold. The speedster was ruled out of the recently-concluded T20 World Cup due to a right calf injury. NZC confirmed that he has recovered from the injury.
New Zealand tour of India, 2021
The Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur will host the first T20I between India and New Zealand on November 17. Meanwhile, the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi and Eden Gardens in Kolkata will play host to the next two T20Is on November 19 and 21 respectively. The two Test matches will be held in Green Park, Kanpur (November 25-29) and Wankhede, Mumbai (December 3-7).