New Zealand vs Pakistan: Ross Taylor dropped for T20Is
New Zealand have announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan. Senior batsman Ross Taylor has been dropped, while fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has opted out after sustaining a back injury. His compatriot Hamish Bennett also misses out on the three-match series with an abdominal tear. Here is more on the same.
Notably, the first T20I is set to be played (December 18) only three days after the conclusion of second Test against West Indies. As a result, Test regulars like Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Daryl Mitchell, will link up with the T20I squad only ahead of the last two games, December 20 (Hamilton) and December 22 (Napier).
Mitchell Santner will lead the T20I side in the series opener, in the absence of Williamson. Notably, the latter missed the second Test against West Indies as he is out on paternity leave. Meanwhile, leg-spinners Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle are covers for Santner. Also, fast bowler Blair Tickner, batsman Mark Chapman and all-rounder Doug Bracewell have been included for the first T20I only.
Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway, who were involved in a record third-wicket stand of 181 in the second T20I against West Indies, have earned spots. Fast bowler Jacob Duffy has also received his maiden call-up after impressing in the domestic circuit and for New Zealand A. The 26-year old finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the Ford Trophy, earlier this year.
According to NZ selector, Gavin Larsen, Taylor misses out due to "quality and form" of other batsmen. "We've left out 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," he said.
Squad (first T20I): Mitchell Santner (c), Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner Squad (second and third T20Is): Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee