Mayank Kumar ∙ Dec 13 2020, 11:06 AM | 3 Min Read

NZ vs PAK: Blackcaps drop Ross Taylor while Williamson, Boult return to T20 squad

New Zealand have dropped Ross Taylor for the T20 series against Pakistan while the pair of Kane Williamson and Trent Boult have made a comeback for the series starting December 20.  However, the duo will be able to feature only in the second and the third T20 of the series as the ongoing Test match in Wellington is scheduled to end just three days prior to the start of the T20 series against Pakistan. 

Selector Gavin Larsen said that dropping Ross Taylor was very tough but finding room for him while other batsmen are in red-hot form was a lot tougher task.

“Their inclusion (other young batsmen) 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 batsman,” Larsen said in NZC release.

Mitchell Santner will be leading the Blackcaps against Pakistan in absence of both Kane Williamson and Tim Southee. Other squad members such as  Kyle Jamieson and Daryl Mitchell will miss the first T20 as well as they are part of the second Test against West Indies.

The Blackcaps have added the trio of Blair Tickner, Mark Chapman and Doug Bracewell for the first T20 to cover for the Test-playing members and ultimately will make way for them after they return for the second and final T20 of the series. Notably, Mark Chapman has also been called as a stand-by for Kane Williamson who is expecting his first child and might miss out of the rest of the three-match series as well.

“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. Kane will return and lead the side for games two and three, but we’ll obviously need to take a wait and see approach in relation to the arrival of his and Sarah’s first child. Mark Chapman’s in the squad for the opening match at Eden Park and is on stand-by for Kane for the remaining games of the series,” Larsen said on the decision-making process around Williamson’s availability.

The Blackcaps have retained Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway who were in blistering form against West Indies and the selector Gavin Larsen said that the duo has the chance to back up that performance against Pakistan in the three-match series.

“We were thrilled Glenn and Devon were able to take their opportunities well in the previous series and we’re keen to give them the chance to back that up against a strong Pakistan T20 outfit,” Larsen is banking on Conway and Phillips to produce goods.

Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the T20 series in a major setback for the hosts as well for himself who has been looking in the menacing form in the IPL 2020 and the T20 series against New Zealand. Along with him, Hamish Bennet too has been ruled out due to abdominal tear. In his place, the Blackcaps have handed over maiden call up to Otago Volts pacer Jacob Duffy who has been on the sectors' radar through strong performances in domestic cricket.

It’s a special time for Jacob who’s taken his game to another level this summer and I know he’s excited to join the BLACKCAPS camp for the first time. The injury to Lockie is obviously a concern considering what he brings to our bowling attack and we’re awaiting more information around his rehabilitation,” Larsen added.

The responsibility of the spin department lies in the hands of Santner and Ish Sodhi while Todd Astle has been recalled into the T20 squad to face Pakistan.

The touring Pakistan team will play three T20Is against New Zealand on December 18, 20 and 22, which will be quickly followed by a two-match Test series starting December 26.

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