Kane Williamson to lead New Zealand in Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka
ESPNCricinfo: Corey Anderson has recovered sufficiently from a back injury to make New Zealand’s squad as a specialist batsman for the two Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka. Grant Elliott also returned to the T20I squad after he was left to recover from a broken arm during the ODI series.
The squad did not feature Brendon McCullum, who had confirmed he will not play in the forthcoming World T20 in March and April. Kane Williamson, who will lead the team in that tournament, was named captain for the Sri Lanka series also.
Allrounder James Neesham, who is recovering from injury himself, and offspinner Nathan McCullum, who sustained a knee injury, were both unavailable for selection. Among the available players missing out, however, was Matt Henry, who took eight wickets at an average of 10.25 in the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, and Tom Latham, who played both matches as well.
Left-arm spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner and legspinner Ish Sodhi formed the spin component of the T20 squad. Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Adam Milne were the frontline quicks.
Anderson had suffered a stress-related back injury in May, and had only begun playing competitive cricket in November. He played as a batsman for Northern Districts in New Zealand’s domestic T20 league, and recently also played a first-class game, but was yet to begin bowling at the domestic level.
“It’s been a long process for Corey, but we’ve been happy with his recent progress and the fact he’s managed to string a few games together for the Northern Knights,” New Zealand Coach Mike Hesson said. “He’s getting closer to bowling, but we’ll be taking a precautionary approach. We’ve seen how dynamic a batsmen he is and can threaten any bowling attack in the world.”
Elliott had broken his wrist in November while attempting a return catch during training with his Wellington domestic team. He returned to List A cricket on 27 December, and had recovered enough to bat and bowl in that match.
“Grant brings a lot to the squad and has experience in pressure moments, which is key to batting in the middle order in Twenty20,” Hesson said.
New Zealand also named their squad for the final two ODIs against Sri Lanka. Boult returned to the squad after a three-match rest period. Batsman George Worker, who was part of the squad for the first three ODIs, was not included, nor was Henry, despite his good performances. Rookie batsman Henry Nicholls retained his place.
T20 squad: Kane Williamson (Capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
ODI squad for last two matches Brendon McCullum (Capt), Trent Boult (will return for fifth ODI), Doug Bracewell, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson