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New Zealand’s T20I squad: Williamson returns to New Zealand’s T20I squad for series against Bangladesh

SportsNew Zealand's T20I squad: Williamson returns to New Zealand's T20I squad for series against Bangladesh

New Zealand’s T20I squad: Kane Williamson returns to captain New Zealand’s T20I squad in the home series against Bangladesh. After more than a year since he last played the format.

Like he was for the ongoing ODIs against Bangladesh. Opening batter Devon Conway was rested from the T20Is as well because of workload management.

While Michael Bracewell (achilles), Lockie Ferguson (achilles), Matt Henry (hamstring) and Henry Shipley (back) were all injured. Trent Boult made himself unavailable for selection.

Williamson’s previous T20 international was during the home series against India in November last year. He made a comeback to international cricket during the ODI World Cup in October and November.

After a long recovery period following knee surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament. He had ruptured during the opening game of the 2023 IPL season.

Alrounder James Neesham also returned to the T20I squad after missing New Zealand’s previous T20I series, in England in September. Because of the birth of his child, while fast bowler Ben Sears has been included.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said that that’s great to be able to finish off a busy year. That started on the road by having the group together in New Zealand.

They have played T20 cricket in a wide variety of conditions this year. And it’s been great to see a broad range of players making contributions.

Tim Seifert, as an example, returned to the side in a specific role at the top of the order. And made significant contributions in each series he was part of.

With a World Cup in the middle of next year. We’re well into our planning in terms of both the tournament. And the type of squad we might need in the conditions.

While they’re advanced in our planning. As we saw with the one-day World Cup squad this year with the likes of Mark Chapman and Rachin Ravindra.

There is certainly still time for players to come into that mix.

New Zealand’s T20I will assemble on Boxing Day ahead of the series opener. Against Bangladesh in Napier on December 27. After which the teams travel to Tauranga for the second and third games on December 29 and 31.

New Zealand’s T20I squad

New Zealand’s T20I squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

Arshin Kulkarni

A big-hitting batting wonder and a handy seamer, Kulkarni is among the fresh batch of India Under-19s. Who is primed to play a key role at the World Cup early next year in South Africa.

He gave glimpses of his T20 potential during a short stint. Where he made a blistering hundred in the Maharashtra Premier League for Eagle Nashik Titans.

Kulkarni also made his senior debut for Maharashtra during the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT). He was recommended by Ruturaj Gaikwad for a trial with Chennai Super Kings.

But had to miss out because it clashed with the India Under-19s camp. Kulkarni is also believed to be keenly pursued by Punjab Kings.

As such, domestic allrounders – especially those who bowl seam-up – are rare.

Shubham Dubey

Uncapped finishers in domestic cricket are not common either. This is where Vidarbha’s Dubey has proved to be a point of difference. With several talent scouts impressed with his performances at the SMAT.

Playing lower down in the middle order, Dubey, a left-hand batter, made 221 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 187.28.

The highlight of the tournament was his part in Vidarbha scaling a chase of 213 against Bengal. Their highest-ever successful chase, with 13 balls to spare.

Coming in as an Impact Player at No. 5, Dubey finished with an unbeaten 58 from just 20 balls. Hitting three fours and six sixes.

Musheer Khan

There’s a video on the internet of an eight-year-old Musheer dismissing Yuvraj Singh – many years ago, of course. It’s entirely possible that Yuvraj was just allowing a starry-eyed kid enjoy a moment’s stardom. But Musheer has made sure to be primed for greater fame.

A left-arm-spin-bowling allrounder who bats in the middle order. Musheer is only one of two players with first-class experience in the India Under-19 World Cup squad for the World Cup in South Africa in January.

Last year, he led Mumbai to the final of the Cooch Behar Trophy. Where he was named Player of the Tournament for his 632 runs and 32 wickets. Those performances helped him earn a Ranji Trophy cap. He has so far featured in three first-class matches.

The presence of the Impact Player rule might have diminished the role of allrounders in the IPL. But Musheer has proven he can hold his own with bat as well as ball.

Sameer Rizvi

Rizvi, 20, hit the most sixes for Kanpur Superstars at the UP T20 League. He also made two blistering hundreds and finished with 455 runs in nine innings in the tournament. It earned him a trial at three franchises, including Punjab Kings. Which his state coach Sunil Joshi is a part of.

However, commitments with UP’s Under-23 squad meant Rizvi had to miss the trials. But he gave more than a glimpse of his potential in his first outing with the Under-23s. Smashing 91 off 65 deliveries in a one-day game against Rajasthan.

That was the start of a dream run that culminated in UP winning the tournament. With Rizvi hitting a match-winning 84 from 50 balls in the final. He finished the tournament as the highest run-getter.

Kumar Kushagra

All it takes is one game. This isn’t a tagline, but a mantra that reflects the rise of the young Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batter Kushagra. Numbers don’t suggest he has the kind of consistency captains. And coaches would like, but if you dig deeper, there’s raw potential of the kind scouts look for.

One such knock in the Vijay Hazare Trophy could yet prove to be a turning point. Chasing 355 against Maharashtra, Kushagra came in at No. 6 for Jharkhand. And hit an unbeaten 67 off 37 balls, with four fours and five sixes, to clinch an improbable win.

A number of scouts in attendance that day were impressed by the ferocity of his big hitting. An aspect he has gradually worked on since moving into a middle-order role.

Kushagra has, over time, become Jharkhand’s first-choice wicketkeeper primarily because Ishan Kishan has mostly been away on national duty.

And while he yearns to be more consistent, he has shown enough glimpses of his ability. Like he did against Maharashtra.

With both Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders looking for an able Indian wicketkeeper, Kushagra will keep his fingers crossed.

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