Wellington: Uncapped batsman Anaru Kitchen has been named in the New Zealand squad for the three-match T20Is series against West Indies, beginning December 29 in Nelson.
Opener Martin Guptill, who has been sidelined by a hamstring strain since late last month, has been recalled in the squad and is now likely take up his usual position at the top of the batting order.
Batsmen Tom Bruce and Glenn Phillips, who both made their T20 international debuts earlier in the year, have also been included in the national squad, while uncapped seam bowler Seth Rance has also got a nod.
It should be noted that Rance has played two ODIs and has now earned his maiden call-up in the T20I squad as a replacement for Adam Milne, who injured his left foot while trying to bowl during a practice session prior to the first ODI.
Kitchen seems to have received a call-up in the national squad on the back of his consistent performer in domestic cricket and decent form through the start of New Zealand’s domestic season.
Reflecting on the same, national selector Gavin Larsen said, “When you add Anaru Kitchen to the likes of Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Glenn Phillips and Tom Bruce, there’s a lot of threats throughout the batting line-up – there are more explosive batting options than ever before. Anaru has performed superbly for Otago the past couple of seasons and with his ability to bowl as well, he brings a lot to the side.”
Meanwhile, Ish Sodhi is selected at an expense of Todd Astle in the spin department and that he would now join left-arm spinning all-rounder Mitchell Santner in the squad,ESPNcricinfo reported.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who is currently on a break, will not make a return until the second T20I, with Tim Southee all set to lead the side.
While New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult will also miss the first two T20s, Ross Taylor will be available only to play the first match against West Indies.
The New Zealand squad is as follows:
New Zealand squad: Tim Southee (capt. for first T20), Doug Bracewell, Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Anaru Kitchen, Glenn Phillips, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor (1st T20 only), Kane Williamson (capt. in 2nd and 3rd T20), Trent Boult (3rd T20 only).