Ahead of the series against Pakistan, New Zealand gave a facelift to its team brining back Ben Wheeler to the shortest format again. The three match T20 series is scheduled to begin from January 22 in New Zealand. The first match will be played at Wellington. Wheeler, the 26 years old pace bowler was with the before almost a year.
Additionally, New Zealand selectors also put up Seth Rance in the format apart from the last final ODI of the series. Rance and Wheeler are added as the new ensemble in the bowling attack. In the final ODI, Trent Boult is rested, giving a way for Rance to play. The bowler did not get a game in the previous series against West Indies. New Zealand play five ODIs against Pakistan.
Per Chief Selector of New Zealand, Gavin Larsen, brining the new bowlers into the team will allow the team to manage the workload of Tim Southee and Trent Boult. On the other hand, he believes Wheeler’s ability to swing the ball brings out a threatening bowler in him. The selector also supported his batting form and fielding athleticism.
Tim Southee will play the first and the third T20, while Lockie Ferguson is selected for the second and the third match along with Trent Boult. Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler, Seth Rance and Mitchell Santner will play all the matches of the T20 series. Similarly, Ross Taylor is picked up only for the first match of the series.
Contrary to expectations, Mark Chapman was not offered a debut in the series. Larsen backed up selectors decision saying the batsman ‘has been really impressive for Auckland’, but Tom Bruce and Ross Taylor ‘deserved to continue getting opportunities’. In the series, Tom Bruce was picked for his stance against West Indies, but his form continued to slog in latter campaigns. While, Chapman has been a top performer in domestic circuit.
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