Auckland Aces seamer Ben Lister has received his first call-up to the Black Caps, for three Twenty20 internationals against India.
Auckland Aces bowler Ben Lister is the lone new face in the Black Caps squad to play three Twenty20 internationals against India later this month.
If he makes his debut in the series starting on January 28 [NZ time]he will become the first left-arm seamer to do so for New Zealand since Ben Wheeler in 2015.
His inclusion comes with the future of the country’s lone established white-ball left-armer, Trent Boult, in a state of limbo now that he has given back his NZ Cricket contract to become a free agent.
Boult played for the Black Caps as they made the semifinals of last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia and has ambitions to play this year’s one-day international World Cup in India, but his availability beyond that is unclear.
Lister’s call-up comes after he made his New Zealand A debut in India last Septemberonly to have his tour cut short when he came down with pneumonia and had to be hospitalised.
Selector Gavin Larsen said Lister “has made an exciting impact for Auckland early in his career in red and white ball cricket.
“Since his debut in late 2017he is the Aces’ leading wicket taker in T20 and List A cricket.
“His ability to swing the ball considerably as a left-armer is particularly exciting.
New Zealand scored a 79-run win in Karachi, courtesy of a big second-wicket partnership between Devon Conway and Kane Williamson.
“We all felt for Ben after his tour ended the way it did last year, and it’s a testament to his work ethic that he’s been able to return to domestic cricket so strongly this season.”
Lister is one of three players who will travel to India solely for the T20s, with the other 12 members of the 15-strong squad staying on after playing three ODIs.
Left-arm wrist-spinner Michael Rippon will be looking to add to his lone New Zealand cap, having made his debut in a T20 against Scotland last winter.
Wicketkeeper-batter Dane Cleaver will be the other new arrival in a squad that doesn’t feature regular captain Kane Williamson or seamer Tim Southee, who are both returning to New Zealand once this week’s ODI series in Pakistan is complete.
The contingent already in the subcontinent includes Canterbury Kings all-rounder Henry Shipley, who will be looking to make his T20 international debut, having played his first ODI against Pakistan this week.
All-rounder Mitchell Santner will lead the Black Caps in Williamson’s absence, having most recently done so in Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands last year.
“Mitch is a leader in our white ball teams and has captained the T20 side in India before,” Larsen said.
“His experience in Indian conditions will be invaluable leading this group.”
Black Caps – T20 series in India
Mitchell Santner (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Ben Lister, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Michael Rippon, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner
Fixtures [NZ time]
Saturday, January 28, 3am: First T20, Ranchi
Monday, January 30, 3am: Second T20, Lucknow
Thursday, February 2, 3am: Third T20, Ahmedabad