New Zealand without Kane Williamson for five-match T20 series with England as captain is ruled out with hip injury
New Zealand will be without their inspirational captain Kane Williamson for the five-match Twenty20 series against England because of a hip injury.
Williamson, who led his side to within a whisker of World Cup success at Lord's in July, only for England to win on boundary countback after a tied super over, is expected to be fit for the two-Test series, starting at Mount Maunganui on November 21.
But New Zealand have decided not to risk him in the 20-over matches as he seeks to recover from a niggle that has plagued him for much of the year. The captaincy will pass to seamer Tim Southee.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will play no part in the T20 series against England
Williamson's New Zealand side were agonisingly beaten by England in the World Cup final
NEW ZEALAND SQUAD
Tim Southee (c), Trent Boult (matches four and five), Colin De Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson (matches one to three), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner
Meanwhile, England will field three newcomers in their tour opener against a New Zealand XI in Lincoln on Sunday, with Somerset's explosive 20-year-old Tom Banton opening the batting, and Saqib Mahmood of Lancashire and Pat Brown of Worcestershire, 22 and 21 respectively, part of a four-man seam attack.
Jonny Bairstow will get an immediate chance to put the disappointment of his Test axing behind him when he partners Banton at the top of the order, with James Vince at No 3 and Sam Billings, England's T20 vice-captain on this trip, keeping wicket.
They will be up against fast bowler Lockie Ferguson after he recovered from a broken thumb. Ferguson was another of New Zealand's World Cup stars, taking 21 wickets at 19 apiece – second only to Australia's Mitchell Starc. The five-match series begins in Christchurch next Friday.
Somerset's Tom Banton is set to open for England when they take on a New Zealand XI