NZ bring in two rookies for T20s

Wellington: New Zealand picked two uncapped players in all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and pacer Blair Tickner for the three-match T20 International series against India starting February 6 here.
Regular skipper Kane Williamson was Wednesday named captain of the 14-strong squad after skipping the one-off T20 against Sri Lanka. The Black Caps are currently competing in a five-match one-day series against with India and have conceded a 0-3 lead.
“Doug Bracewell, brought in as a replacement for the injured Jimmy Neesham ahead of the most recent T20 against Sri Lanka, has retained his place in the squad,” New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.
India will be led by Rohit Sharma in the series as Virat Kohli has been rested to manage his workload.
Mitchell and Tickner have been rewarded for their good performances in New Zealand’s domestic T20 league — the Super Smash. Mitchell scored a 23-ball 61 for Northern Knights against Central Stags recently and was also in good form for New Zealand A in one-day cricket.
Tickner will be part of teh Kiwi squad for the final T20I as a replacement for Lockie Ferguson, who is there for the first two matches.
“Both Daryl and Blair have been rewarded for the strong form they’ve produced in domestic cricket,” said Gavin Larsen, the New Zealand selector. “Daryl has shown his value with the bat and also tends to bowl at some tough times for the Knights, and Blair is well-respected among his team-mates and opponents alike as someone who bowls a heavy ball at good pace,” he added.
The three-match series will be double-headers alongside women’s matches between the two sides on the same pitch.
On the other hand, New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner feels that his team’s inability to take wickets in the middle overs has proved costly in the ongoing ODI series against India and the hosts will be aiming to reverse the trend in the remaining ODI matches as well as T20s to follow soon after that.
Santner also added that Kiwis are looking to return back strongly in the T20 series against India, as they already lost the Tests and ODIs. (PTI)


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