Seth Rance bowls during the second Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and Pakistan in Auckland in January 2018. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Southee to lead as stars, coach rested for Eden Park T20 match

CRICKET

NIALL ANDERSON

The Black Caps have rested several key players – and their coach – for their one-off Twenty20 clash against Sri Lanka on Friday in Auckland.

Captain Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, and Colin de Grandhomme have all been given a game off, while coach Gary Stead is taking a break before the India series later this month, leaving Craig McMillan to coach the side.

Tim Southee will captain the side in Williamson’s absence, and will have the services of Mitchell Santner to call on, as the 26-year-old returns to the international fold after knee surgery in March.

Also included in the squad is Greytown’s Seth Rance, giving the 31-year-old the chance to add to his five international T20 caps since his debut in against the West Indies in Nelson in December 2017. He last played an international T20 in Dubai against Pakistan in November when he went wicketless from his four overs in the 47-run loss.

Fresh off his stunning 47 off 13 balls in the Black Caps’ ODI victory on Friday, Jimmy Neesham has earned a recall to the Twenty20 side, as has Henry Nicholls, while Scott Kuggeleijn has received his maiden T20 call-up.

Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen said rotating the squad was important after a busy start to the home summer.

“It’s nice to have the luxury of freshening up a few of our key guys following a long tour of the UAE and a fast transition into the home summer,” Larsen said.

“That presents a great opportunity for the likes of Henry, Scott and Jimmy – who have all been performing strongly for their respective teams recently and deserve their chances should they come.

“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.”

New Zealand T20 squad to play Sri Lanka on January 11 at Eden Park:

Tim Southee [captain], Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor.