NZ vs BAN T20Is: Returning captain Kane Williamson withdrawn, Rachin Ravindra comes in as replacement

Image Source : GETTY Kiwi cricketers Kane Williamson and Rachin Ravindra

Kane Williamson’s return to T20I cricket has been delayed as New Zealand Cricket withdrew their captain and ace pacer Kyle Jamieson from the squad for the upcoming T20I series on Friday. Williamson was named captain for the three-match T20I series starting on December 27 but has been withdrawn from the squad to keep him fresh for summer Tests against South Africa and Australia.

The 33-year-old veteran last played T20I cricket against India in November 2022 and missed seven months of cricket in 2023 due to a knee injury. He made his return to competitive cricket in the recent World Cup 2023 and seemed in very good form.

Williamson also scored a century in the Sylhet Test against Bangladesh last month and was given rest for the ongoing ODIs at home. Both Williamson and Jamieson are expected to miss next month’s five-match T20I series against Pakistan as the management is looking to keep them reserved for the summer Test series in February and March.

“Kane will undergo a period of knee rehabilitation and strengthening following his recent return to play in India and Bangladesh,” NZC said in a statement. “Kyle’s hamstring injury was best served by a period of targeted rehabilitation leading into February’s Test Series against South Africa.”

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead also confirmed that the decision was taken after a discussion with the medical staff and both players.

“We want both Kane and Kyle to be in the best possible place leading into the next block of Test cricket against South Africa and Australia,” Gary Stead said in a statement. “Based on discussions with the medical staff and the players, it was decided a period of rehabilitation and conditioning was the best option for both of them.

Meanwhile, the NZC has named rising all-rounder Rachin Ravindra and pacer Jacob Duffy as replacements for Williamson and Jamieson while the ace spinner Mitchell Santner will take the captain’s armband for the Bangladesh T20I series.

Updated New Zealand T20I squad for Bangladesh: Mitchell Santner (c), Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips (wk), Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Jacob Duffy, Rachin Ravindra.

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