New Zealand have recalled medium-pacer Hamish Bennett for the upcoming five-match T20I series against India at home that gets underway from January 24. Bennett last played for New Zealand in 2017 and has so far played one Test and 16 ODIs and is set to make his T20I debut.
With Trent Boult (fractured finger), Lockie Ferguson (calf strain) and Matt Henry (thumb) out of action due to various injuries, New Zealand will look to Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, Scott Kuggeleijn and Bennett to lead their pace department.
The 32-year-old Bennett is currently the joint third-highest wicket-taker in New Zealand’s ongoing domestic T20 competition with selector Gavin Larsen saying the pacer has been rewarded for his form.
“We’re delighted to have Hamish back in the fold for what will be a huge series against India,” Larsen said. “Over the past few seasons he’s consistently been one of the top domestic white-ball bowlers and we’ve been impressed how he’s been able to evolve his game. We all know he brings good pace and bounce but it’s the clever variations he’s added that make him such a well-rounded T20 bowler.”
Apart from the three pacers, the others who were injured and thus weren’t considered for the T20I series include Tom Latham, Seth Rance, Doug Bracewell, Will Young and Adam Milne.
With New Zealand set for a busy international season, Larsen said they were looking to make the most out of their resources. “The next few weeks will be really intense for our elite male cricketers and we’re fully aware of the challenges ahead. We’re clearly wanting to win the series in front of us while also considering our wider ICC T20 World Cup campaign plan. We see both Daryl and Jimmy as important all-rounders in the T20 format. With a travelling squad of just 13 and the need to balance the options for the series, Daryl gets this opportunity against India as a reward for his consistent form for the Blackcaps.”
New Zealand’s T20I squad: Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Tom Bruce (games 4-5), Colin de Grandhomme (games 1-3), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee