Daryl Mitchell, New Zealand’s hero of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semifinal against England, has replaced injured Devon Conway in the squad for the BlackCaps’ two-match Test series against India. The Kiwis are to travel to India after the T20 World Cup final and play three T20Is followed by a couple of Test matches.
Conway had been earlier ruled out of India tour as well as the T20 World Cup final with a broken hand – an injury which he sustained during their semifinal win over the Three Lions on Wednesday. New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said Conway would return home with the T20 squad after their three-game series in India while Mitchell will remain with the team for the Tests.
“It’s a shame for Devon to miss out on the first series of the new World Test Championship cycle, but it also offers up an opportunity for someone else,” Stead said as per New Zealand Cricket (NZC).
“Daryl’s versatility means he can cover a lot of batting positions and he’s certainly got plenty of confidence at the moment. He’s proven he can perform in Test cricket and I know he’s excited to rejoin the Test group,” he added.
For now, the focus of New Zealand team would be on the final of the T20 World Cup which will commence in a few hours from now at the Dubai International Stadium against Australia. This is the BlackCaps’ third successive entry in an ICC event final, having narrowly missed out on lifting the ODI World Cup in 2019 and beating India in the World Test Championship final earlier this year.
New Zealand seem to have all bases covered, but I fancy Australia for T20 WC final: Pietersen
Meanwhile, former England captain Kevin Pietersen said that while the Kiwis are a strong side themselves, he would not be surprised if Australia blow their neighbour out.
“New Zealand seem to have all bases covered, but I fancy Australia,” he wrote in his blog.
“History suggests that when you get these two together in a major final, the Aussies blow the Kiwis away. It’s what happened in the 2015 50-over final in Melbourne. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Australia lift the trophy on Sunday,” he added.