New Zealand have announced their 15 man squad for World T20 2016 in India on Monday. The marquee tournament is just one month away. New Zealand selected three spinners-Nathan McCullum, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and left arm orthodox allrounder, Mitchell Santner- considering the condition of Indian pitch. Nathan MacCullum had not played for New Zealand since the tour to South Africa in August as he took retirement from all form of cricket.
“With the Indian conditions in mind, the plan has always been to take three front-line spinners and all three bring something different,” said New Zealand coach Mike Hesson in a statement at the unveiling of the squad. “It’s great to have Nathan available again and his experience in the foreign conditions will be invaluable. Both he and Mitch Santner have the ability to bowl in the first six overs, which gives Kane a number of options to work with.”
Leg-spinner Todd Astle did not make the cut through after having been included in the three-match T20I after having been included in the three-match T20I series against Pakistan. Astle had not played for New Zealand since making his Test debut in 2012 against Sri Lanka, was ineffective in the first two matches of the series. He went wicketless with figures of 0 for 41 spread across four overs in the two games and was left out for the final match of the series.
Henry Nicholls, who is uncapped in T20Is for New Zealand, was chosen after impressing with 82 in a Man of the Match performance against Pakistan in the first ODI at Basin Reserve last week. Nicholls will also serve as cover for wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi.
“Henry has shown his talent and versatility with the bat this summer and has also been used as a wicketkeeper for New Zealand A,” said Hesson.
As for the injured trio Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and Ross Taylor, all three were picked and are expected to be fit by the start of the tournament. The return of Southee, McClenanghan meant there-there was no room for Matt Henry in the team and Adam Milne was tabbed for the remaining slots along with Trent Boult and allrounder Corey Anderson and Grant Elliot.
New Zealand is in a second round pool alongside Australia, Pakistan, India and the winner of the qualifying pool played among Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands and Oman. New Zealand’s first match will be in Nagpur against India on March 15.
New Zealand WT20 squad
Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi