New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and pace spearhead Trent Boult will miss the upcoming Twenty20 series against the West Indies to concentrate on Test matches, selectors said Tuesday.
However, the Black Caps have added an exciting element to the 13-man T20 squad in the form of South African-born debutant Devon Conway, the stand-out domestic batsman in recent seasons.
Coach Gary Stead said Williamson and Boult were sitting out the three T20s – beginning in Auckland in November 27 – to keep them fresh for the two Tests against the West Indies in December.
“We’ve had to make a decision on Kane and Trent to prioritise the Test matches, given how important they are to our red-ball team and the fact they both played such big roles in the recent IPL while also managing injuries,” he said.
Stead said the New Zealanders focused on the five-day format because they were a realistic prospect of making the World Test Championship final after posting an upset 2-0 series win over India earlier this year.
He was looking forward to seeing Conway on the international stage, predicting the 29-year-old would “soak up” the experience.
Conway moved to New Zealand in 2017 and has been carving up attacks ever since, winning back-to-back domestic player of the year awards in 2018 and 2019.
The left-hander, who became eligible to play for New Zealand in August, replaces fellow power hitter Colin Munro, who is playing in Australia’s big Bash League.
Fast bowler Kyle Jamieson is the only other new cap in the T20 squad, while the Test side is the same one that faced India in February.
Tim Southee (capt), Hamish Bennett, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Seifert, Ross Taylor
*Doug Bracewell, Scott Kuggeleijn and Mark Chapman replace Jamieson, Southee and Taylor in game three
Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young