New Zealand have announced their 13-man squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Australia, starting from 22nd February in Christchurch. Uncapped pugnacious batsman Finn Allen has included as a reserve for Martin Guptill, who has been suffering from hamstring injury.
With Guptill in rehabilitation process, Head Coach Gary Stead and Chief Selector Gavin Larsen have shown full faith in veteran’s match-winning ability in the T20 format. He is leading run-scorer for New Zealand in the T20 format.
In his previous five innings in the T20 format, Martin Guptill could only 85 runs. His also struggled to produce score for Auckland in the ongoing Super Smash T20I competition. With Guptill going through a tough period with the bat, selectors have included uncapped batsman Finn Allen, who topped the batting charts in the Super Smash competition and scored 512 runs at a blistering strike rate of 194.
If Guptill fails to recover in time for the T20I series opener at Christchurch, Finn Allen will get an opportunity to make his debut for New Zealand at the top of the innings.
Finn Allen’s teammate Devon Conway continued his excellent form in the Super Smash competition and will bat at no.4 for New Zealand in the upcoming five-match T20I series. Auckland all-rounder Mark Chapman has retained his place in the T20I squad after doing well against Pakistan. Ross Taylor was once again overlooked for this five-match series.
Seamer Hamish Bennett has fully recovered from injury and will be another pace bowling option besides Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson. Doug Bracewell, Scott Kuggeleijn, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Blair Ticker and Todd Astle have failed to find a place in the T20I squad.
The opening of the five-match T20I series will be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on 22nd February.
New Zealand T20I Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett, Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Kyle Jamieson. Finn Allen (reserve player)