Tim Southee will lead New Zealand for the one-off Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka, standing in for Kane Williamson, New Zealand Cricket announced on Friday (January 4).
Williamson, Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme have earned breaks along with head coach Gary Stead. Craig McMillan will take over coaching duties in his place.
Meanwhile, James Neesham and Martin Guptill, both of who shone in the opening ODI against Sri Lanka have been recalled for the lone T20I squad along with Mitchell Santner, who hasn’t featured in national colours since March 2018 having undergone knee surgery.
Pacer Scott Kuggeleijn, who has played two ODIs also gets a place in the side alongside Glenn Phillips. Left-hander Mark Chapman misses out.
“Tim did a really good job leading the side against Pakistan and the West Indies last season and he’s got a nice mix of proven performers and some fresh faces to work with," said Gavin Larsen, the selector.
“We’re delighted to welcome Mitchell back into the BLACKCAPS environment and he’s shown in his performances for the Knights in the BK Super Smash that he’s ready for international cricket again.”
Southee, who has captained New Zealand twice before, admitted that leading a side in cricket’s shortest form can be a bit of a gamble.
“It’s about trying to stay a step ahead of the game and a little bit of guessing," he said.
“The way T20 cricket goes it’s (about)trying to take a bit of a punt on what you think is going to happen.
New Zealand take on Sri Lanka for a one-off T20I in Auckland on January 11.
Squad: Tim Southee (c), Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor