The New Zealand selectors have named their squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against India, with skipper Kane Williamson returning to the squad having recovered from his hip strain that kept him out of the final games in the England series. The Kiwis, however, will be without two of their frontline bowlers- Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson- who have still not completely recovered from their injuries.

With significant absentees in their fast bowling arsenal, the New Zealand selectors have picked 32-year-old Hamish Benett. This will be the medium pacer’s first International call-up since 2017 when he played for the Blackcaps against Bangladesh.

“We’re delighted to have Hamish back in the fold for what will be a huge series against India. 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,” said New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen.

The Kiwis will also be without swashbuckling all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, who injured a quad muscle while playing a domestic game. Their other pace bowling all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme will be available only for the first three T20 Internationals, with Tom Bruce replacing him for the final two games.

“The next few weeks will be really intense for our elite male cricketers and we’re fully aware of the challenges ahead. We clearly want to win the series in front of us while also considering our wider ICC T20 World Cup campaign plan,” said Larsen.

READ: Rohit Sharma, Mohammad Shami back in India’s T20 squad for New Zealand tour

India also named their T20I squad for this series a few days back, with opening batsman Rohit Sharma and pacer Mohammed Shami recalled to the team, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya continues to miss out due to injury.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Tom Bruce (matches 4-5), Colin de Grandhomme (matches 1-3), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), K.L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur

Feature image: AFP/ Peter Parks