New Zealand announced their 15 men squad for the ICC WT20 which is to take place in India in March-April later this year. There are no major surprises in the squad and it features three spinners as the conditions in the sub-continent as expected to assist the slower bowlers.
Veteran off-spinner Nathan McCullum who is set to retire at the end of the World Cup, leg spinner Ish Sodhi and left arm spinner and a useful lower order bat Mitch Santner have all been included. Nathan McCullum has been in good form recently playing T20 cricket in New Zealand. Ish Sodhi played some matches against the touring Sri Lankan team and he was considered good enough to make the cut. Mitchell Santner impressed everybody when he made his debut against Australia in the first Day-Night Test and has continued to be a regular part of the Kiwi set-up since. He is an enterprising lower order bat and is capable of bowling tight left arm spin.
The squad will be led by Kane Williamson as Brendon McCullum has retired from T20I's. There is only one uncapped player, the tall left hand bat, Henry Nicholls who played a man of the match innings in the first ODI against Pakistan at the Basin Reserve recently. He will also be the reserve wicket-keeper to Luke Ronchi.
The fast bowling will be led by Trent Boult and Tim Southee with Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam MIlne providing back up. There was no place for the impressive Matt Henry even though he has continued to produce results and has taken a bagful of wickets whenever given a chance.
The lower middle order features several impact players and hard hitting batsmen such as Corey Anderson and Colin Munro who can also chip in with the ball. Then there is Grant Elliott, the hero for the Kiwi's in their famous World Cup win against the South Africans in the quarter finals of the ICC World Cup 2015.
Ross Taylor, who did not take part in the Pakistan and will also miss the Chappell-Hadlee series against Australia due to an injury is expected to be fit for the big event.
They might miss their Captain Fantastico and destructive opening batsman Brendon McCullum but Kane Williamson has led the New Zealand team ably in his absence and Martin Guptill is probably in the form of his life at the top of the order. How the young Kiwi side tackle spin on Indian pitches might well decide how deep they are able to penetrate in this tournament. All in all, it is a very good side and has the potential to go all the way.
New Zealand WT20 Squad is given below:
Kane Williamson (Captain), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi