New Zealand’s Ross Taylor has again been kept out of the New Zealand Twenty20 International squad named on Sunday (February 12) to play South Africa later in the week.
New Zealand Cricket also announced the squad for the first two One-Day Internationals in Hamilton and Christchurch on February 19 and 22.
Corey Anderson and Tom Bruce were preferred over Taylor to prop up the middle order in the game’s shortest form. Taylor is the third-highest run scorer for New Zealand in T20Is but has not been required since the World T20 11 months ago.
Ish Sodhi retained his place in the ODI squad along with Mitchell Santner, while Colin Munro was dropped with Jimmy Neesham taking over the No. 6 six spot.
“Colin hasn’t quite shown the consistency he would like in the middle order and we feel Jimmy is deserved of an opportunity with the bat at No. 6,” explained Gavin Larsen, the selector.
“Having two frontline spinners in the side gives us flexibility and Ish is an aggressive bowler who in the right conditions can be a real threat for us.”
Luke Ronchi and Martin Guptill made their return to both squads after missing the recent Australia series due to a groin injury and a hamstring injury respectively.
“It will be great to have Luke back in the mix,” said Larsen. “He’s the number one white-ball wicketkeeper in the country and brings considerable experience to the group.”
NZC also announced a New Zealand XI for a practice game against the South Africans on February 14, with Adam Milne making his comeback to competitive cricket. Due to a hamstring tear and later an elbow injury, Milne last played an international game in March last year.
“Adam has put in an incredible amount of work to get back out on the park, so it’ll be a big moment for him on Tuesday,” said Larsen. “We’ve named a really strong side for the match, which should be a tough contest and allow a few of our players the opportunity to get a first look at the South African team.”
New Zealand play South Africa in a one-off T20I in Auckland on Friday and a five-match ODI series starting in Hamilton beginning on February 19.
New Zealand T20I squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ben Wheeler.
New Zealand ODI squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor.
New Zealand XI squad: Glenn Phillips, Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, Tom Bruce, Ross Taylor, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Todd Astle, Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Henry Shipley, Zak Gibson.