Ross Taylor has been dropped from New Zealand’s T20I squad for the series against Pakistan, while fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out with a back injury. The returning Kane Williamson – who is currently on paternity leave – and Trent Boult, who were rested for the T20Is against West Indies, will be available only for the second and third games of the series along with Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Daryl Mitchell, who were also part of the Test side.
Fast bowler Jacob Duffy has earned his maiden call-up after impressing with his performances for Otago 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 with 21 strikes in nine innings and picked up six wickets across two innings in the four-day game against West Indies A last week. Seamer Hamish Bennett, who played in the T20Is against West Indies, will also miss the Pakistan T20Is with an abdominal tear he sustained in round three of the Ford Trophy.
Mitchell Santner will once again lead the T20I side in the series opener at Eden Park – having done so in the rain-hit third T20I against West Indies in Williamson’s absence – before taking his first break from the game since the CPL in August. Legspinners Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle will cover for him.
Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway, who were involved in a record third-wicket stand of 181 in the second T20I against West Indies less than a fortnight ago remain part of the squad. Seamer Blair Tickner, batsman Mark Chapman and allrounder Doug Bracewell will only be part of the first T20I. Chapman will stay on standby in case Williamson needs to stay with his family for longer than expected.
According to selector Gavin Larsen, Taylor, who made 38 and 9 in the T20Is against West Indies, misses out because of the “quality and form” of the rest of the squad.
“It’s great to have the class of Kane and Trent returning to our T20 side having missed the West Indies series after their starring roles in the IPL in November,” Larsen said. “We were thrilled Glenn and Devon were able to take their opportunities so well in the previous series and we’re keen to give them the chance to back that up against a strong Pakistan T20 outfit.
“Their inclusion and the return of Kane means we’ve left out Ross 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.”
The T20Is will begin three days after the conclusion of the ongoing second Test against West Indies, with Auckland, Hamilton and Napier set to host the three matches on December 18, 20 and 22 respectively.
New Zealand squad for 1st 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 for 2nd and 3rd 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