Sri Lanka in New Zealand 2015-16 December 30, 2015

Anderson returns as batsman for T20s

ESPNcricinfo staff

Corey Anderson will not resume his role as an allrounder just yet © Getty Images

Corey Anderson has recovered sufficiently from a back injury to make New Zealand's squad as a specialist batsman for the two Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka. Grant Elliott also returned to the T20I squad after he was left to recover from a broken arm during the ODI series.

The squad did not feature Brendon McCullum, who had confirmed he will not play in the forthcoming World T20 in March and April. Kane Williamson, who will lead the team in that tournament, was named captain for the Sri Lanka series also.

Allrounder James Neesham, who is recovering from injury himself, and offspinner Nathan McCullum, who sustained a knee injury, were both unavailable for selection. Among the available players missing out, however, was Matt Henry, who took eight wickets at an average of 10.25 in the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, and Tom Latham, who played both matches as well.

Left-arm spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner and legspinner Ish Sodhi formed the spin component of the T20 squad. Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Adam Milne were the frontline quicks.

Anderson had suffered a stress-related back injury in May, and had only begun playing competitive cricket in November. He played as a batsman for Northern Districts in New Zealand's domestic T20 league, and recently also played a first-class game, but was yet to begin bowling at the domestic level.

"It's been a long process for Corey, but we've been happy with his recent progress and the fact he's managed to string a few games together for the Northern Knights," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said. "He's getting closer to bowling, but we'll be taking a precautionary approach. We've seen how dynamic a batsmen he is and can threaten any bowling attack in the world."

Elliott had broken his wrist in November while attempting a return catch during training with his Wellington domestic team. He returned to List A cricket on December 27, and had recovered enough to bat and bowl in that match.

"Grant brings a lot to the squad and has experience in pressure moments, which is key to batting in the middle order in Twenty20," Hesson said.

New Zealand also named their squad for the final two ODIs against Sri Lanka. Boult returned to the squad after a three-match rest period. Batsman George Worker, who was part of the squad for the first three ODIs, was not included, nor was Henry, despite his good performances. Rookie batsman Henry Nicholls retained his place.

T20 squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

ODI squad for last two matches Brendon McCullum (capt), Trent Boult (will return for fifth ODI), Doug Bracewell, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Raj on December 31, 2015, 19:17 GMT

    @ BLAIRYEYED Kane Williamson has opened many times for NZ.. in T20.. so he the one

  • Sam on December 31, 2015, 2:15 GMT

    Bring back Jesse Ryder for World T20. Please convince McCullum to play WCT20.

  • Beau on December 30, 2015, 20:51 GMT

    @KIWICRICKETNUT and @JOHNTHEKIWI: I think both Elliott and McClenaghan are benefitting from Hesson's 'pick and stick' policy. Henry did an excellent job, but the plan was always for him to play only the first two ODIs. Elliott and McClenaghan both have their downsides (Elliott's age, McC's boundary balls), but both have delivered at crunch times to contribute to the team's recent run of success. When the team has NEEDED something to change the momentum of a game, each of these guys has brought it, more than once. You want those guys in your team for ODI/T20. It seems weird, especially looking at Henry's recent numbers, but I think it makes sense.

  • Ed on December 30, 2015, 20:39 GMT

    Definitely shoupd havd dropped McClenaghan instead of Henry

  • Garry on December 30, 2015, 20:36 GMT

    Ameya_Patwardhan gezz it is in the second paragraph so you only needed to read a bit before you jumped to conclusions without reading the article. "The squad did not feature Brendon McCullum, who had confirmed he will not play in the forthcoming World T20 in March and April. "

  • Bryce on December 30, 2015, 19:56 GMT

    I like the look of the T20 squad. McClenaghan is a proven performer in the IPL so his selection makes sense given the T20 WC is in India. Like someone mentioned below I do not know why Elliott has been selected in the T20 squad. But perhaps it is just as a reserve middle order player due to his experience and big match temperament. He certainly offers next to nothing with the ball anymore.

  • Ranil on December 30, 2015, 19:50 GMT

    Sri Lanka is heading the T20 league & NZ is almost at the bottom & NZ should try to improve its standings winning both these.

  • blair on December 30, 2015, 19:47 GMT

    Who will open with guptill. Ronchi? Williamson? Munro? Anderson?

  • John on December 30, 2015, 15:16 GMT

    Does McClenaghan have the same kind of evidence against members of the NZ selection committee as Nicholas Cage has against Hollywood producers and directors? As far as 20/20 goes I think you can just throw 20 names in a hat and pull out 13 and it is all much of a muchness as long as you have two or three specialist batsmen and one or two specialist bowlers per squad.

  • Ameya on December 30, 2015, 11:34 GMT

    Baz is retiring before the WT20 . What is the point of including him in this series, taking a place from someone who would want to cement his place? Good decision by the selectors.

    NZ look very formidable on paper and virtually impossible to beat at home. WT20 in India will be a different ball game altogether though .

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