New Zealand have named big-hitters Tom Bruce and Ben Wheeler in their 14-player squad for the upcoming T20s against Bangladesh. Allrounder Corey Anderson, who has been plagued by a back injury for the major part of this year, has been picked as a batsman. Fast bowler Trent Boult has been rested for the first of the three T20s, while Tim Southee has been rested for the entire series in preparation for the two Tests that follow.
Ross Taylor, who had had surgery to remove a benign growth in his left eye after the Hamilton Test against Pakistan in late November, has not been picked for this series, but will return to domestic T20 cricket “within the next few days”, according to selector Gavin Larsen.
Anderson had played in the World T20 in March, before the back injury ruled him out of the tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa. He then returned for the five-match ODI series in India October, where he was also picked as just a batsman. But he managed only 31 runs in four games there, and tried his hand at bowling in the final match – he sent down four overs, conceding 27 runs, for no wicket. Subsequently he was left out of the Chappell-Hadlee ODIs in Australia, which Taylor also missed due to his surgery.
On Bruce’s selection, Larsen said: “Tom has been one of the leading players in the Super Smash [the domestic T20 competition] the past two years and is one of the cleanest strikers of a cricket ball in the country. He has averaged 76 at a strike-rate of 174 this season, so Tom has proven himself to be a very dangerous player. Power is a critical element to Twenty20 cricket, so to have him alongside the likes of Martin [Guptill], Corey and the two Colins [Munro and de Grandhomme] is an exciting prospect.”
The three T20s against Bangladesh will be played from January 3 in Napier.
More to follow
Squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo