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New Zealand vs West Indies 2017/18: New Zealand announce squad for T20I series

Ram Kumar
3.57K   //    23 Dec 2017, 20:03 IST

Tim Southee
Tim Southee is set to make his captaincy debut for New Zealand

What's the story?

New Zealand have announced a 14-member squad for their upcoming T20I series against West Indies. For the opening match, senior fast bowler Tim Southee will get to lead the Blackcaps for the first time in his international career.

Regular skipper Kane Williamson, who has been rested for the series opener, will return for the last two matches to captain the side. Hard-hitting opening batsman Martin Guptill will make a comeback into the national team after recovering sufficiently from a hamstring injury. Batsman Anaru Kitchen has received his maiden call-up to the New Zealand squad.

Chief Selector Gavin Larsen stated, "When you add Anaru Kitchen to the likes of Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Glenn Phillips and Tom Bruce, there's a lot of threats throughout the batting line-up. There are more explosive batting options than ever before. Anaru has performed superbly for Otago the past couple of seasons and with his ability to bowl as well, he brings a lot to the side."

In case you didn't know...

One of the seasoned campaigners in New Zealand's domestic circuit, Anaru Kitchen came through the ranks for Auckland. However, the 33-year old right-hander has been representing Otago for the last two seasons. He has played 88 T20s thus far and has scored 1485 runs with four half-centuries.

The heart of the matter

While the experienced Ross Taylor will be available for only the first game, left-arm pacer Trent Boult has been rested for the first two game as part of the think tank's workload management process. Seth Rance, who replaced the injured Adam Milne in the ODI squad, will continue to be part of the Blackcaps' contingent for the T20I series as well.

New Zealand T20I Squad: Tim Southee (captain for 1st match), Ross Taylor (available for 1st match only), Kane Williamson (captain for 2nd and 3rd matches), Trent Boult (available for 3rd match only), Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Glenn Phillips (wk), Anaru Kitchen, Tom Bruce, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi and Matt Henry

What's next?

Having cruised to a 2-0 lead, New Zealand will look to complete a clean-sweep of West Indies when the third ODI takes place in Christchurch on Tuesday. The first game of the 3-match T20I series will be held at the Saxton Oval in Nelson on the 29th. The last two T20Is are scheduled to occur on January 1 and 3 in Mount Maunganui.

Author's take

After serving New Zealand cricket over the course of a stellar career, Southee deserves the honour to captain his country. The decision to rotate the prominent players also bodes consistently with the think tank's proactive workload management in recent times.

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Ram Kumar
Someone who views sport as a metaphor for life.
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