New Zealand has decided to rest skipper Kane Williamson for the one-off Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka which will take place in Auckland on January 11. Tim Southee will lead the side as New Zealand aim to build momentum for the World Cup which is beginning on May 31 in England. Along with Williamson, Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme are also rested for the match.The Blackcaps won the Test series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Christchurch by a record margin of 423 runs. In the first ODI at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand notched up a massive 371/6 with Martin Guptill scoring a century and going past 6000 runs. Williamson’s side survived a spirited fightback from Sri Lanka but they won the match by 45 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Speaking about captaincy, Southee said, “It's about trying to stay a step ahead of the game and a little bit of guessing. The way T20 cricket goes, it's (about) trying to take a bit of a punt on what you think is going to happen.”
This is not the first time that Southee will be captaining the side. He has led New Zealand in two Twenty20 Internationals before, one against West Indies in Nelson in 2017 and the other against Pakistan at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington in 2018. In the West Indies game, New Zealand won the contest by 47 runs while against Pakistan in Wellington, Southee led from the front with 3/13 as Pakistan were bowled out for 105 and New Zealand sealed a comfortable seven-wicket win.
New Zealand has not had a good time in Twenty20 Internationals following their 2-0 win over the West Indies at the start of the year. They were beaten 2-1 by Pakistan while in the tri-series which involved Australia and England, they lost in the final to Australia. In the series against Pakistan in then UAE, they were whitewashed 3-0.
New Zealand squad for one-off T20I
Tim Southee (capt), Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor