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Hamish Bennett earns recall to New Zealand squad for India T20Is
New Zealand News

Hamish Bennett earns recall to New Zealand squad for India T20Is

Hamish Bennett could make his T20 debut for New Zealand in the upcoming five-match series against India after being included in the 14-man squad led by Kane Williamson.

Bennett made his last international appearance in 2017 against Bangladesh and has represented the Black Caps in 16 ODIs and a solitary Test.

The right-arm paceman, who was a regular in New Zealand's one-day unit in 2011, has been recalled following a spate of injuries to the first-choice fast bowlers.

New Zealand's injury list has grown throughout the Australian summer where their wretched Test team endured a humiliating whitewash in the three-game series.

Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Doug Bracewell and Adam Milne are all nursing injuries, prompting the selectors to look for other pace bowling options.

New Zealand chief selector Gavin Larsen admitted Bennett's call-up was a reward for his consistent performances in the domestic arena.

"Over the past few seasons he's consistently been one of the top domestic white-ball bowlers and we've been impressed how he's been able to evolve his game," Larsen said.

"We all know he brings good pace and bounce but it's the clever variations he's added that make him such a well-rounded T20 bowler."

The 32-year-old is also currently the joint-third highest wicket-taker in the ongoing season of the Super Smash T20 competition.

New Zealand's pace arsenal will be spearheaded by veteran Tim Southee while Blair Tickner, Bennett and Scott Kuggeleijn will offer him company. The spinners include Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner.

Williamson was forced to sit out the third Test against Australia due to flu-like symptoms but has now recovered from his illness to take hold of the captaincy baton.

Meanwhile, Tom Bruce and Colin de Grandhomme will be operated in the India T20Is on a rotation basis with the former chosen to replace the latter for the final two games.

Jimmy Neesham has been sidelined from the national side due owing to an injured quad muscle, though he has found a place in the New Zealand A squad to assess his progress.

The T20I series will kick off on January 24 with the first match scheduled to be held at Eden Park.

New Zealand squad

Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Tom Bruce (final two games), Colin de Grandhomme (first three games), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee