New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson will not participate in the three-match T20I series against India to focus on the two-Test matches that follow, it is being reported on the eve of the opening T20I at Jaipur. While many of the Indian stars including Virat Kohli have already taken rest for the limited-overs fixtures, the Black Caps also confirmed Williamson's absence from the three games in a statement.
After the Jaipur T20I, the other two T20Is will be played at Ranchi and Kolkata respectively following which a Test match each is set to be played at the Green Park Stadium, Kanpur and Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Williamson will be joining the rest of the Test specialist group already training in the Pink City which includes Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Neil Wagner and Tom Blundell.
In Williamson's absence in the T20I series, Tim Southee will step in as the captain. While an elbow issue is troubling the batter, he rose all odds and played a masterclass of an innings in the T20 World Cup final against Australia as he made 85 from 48 balls. However, the Kiwis ended up losing the match by 8 wickets.
Lockie Ferguson likely to make a comeback for India series
In another massive development, fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who had been ruled out of the T20 World Cup due to an injury, is likely to return for the T20I fixtures against the Men in Blue.
"[Ferguson’s recovery] continues to progress well and he is expected to be available for the T20 series," the official statement said.
The remainder of the New Zealand squad is pretty much the same as the one for the T20 World Cup in the Middle East and the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Mark Chapman and Todd Astle are all likely to be given some game time after being benched in every match of their World Cup campaign.
New Zealand squad for T20Is vs India: Tim Southee (captain), Daryl Mitchell, Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Jimmy Neesham, Kyle Jamieson, Todd Astle, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.