Uncapped 30-year old left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel has forced his way into the New Zealand squad for the three T20Is against Pakistan following a series of impressive performances during New Zealand's shadow tour of the UAE. Ajaz picked 4 for 57 off 8.5 overs across the three recently-concluded T20s against Pakistan A, with New Zealand A winning the series 2-1. He averaged 14.25 and had an economy rate of 6.45, and will be the second spinner in the squad along with Ish Sodhi.
"It's no secret that spin is crucial in this part of the world and with the wickets on the slower side, we've taken the option of a second spinner to bring our squad up to 14-players," New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said. "We're fortunate that Ajaz has been playing over here for the past month and playing well; so he'll be ready to go should he get his chance in the series."
Ajaz was earlier named as one of the three spinners in the 15-member squad for the Test series that begins in Abu Dhabi on November 16.
He was adjudged last year's domestic Player of the Year and was a vital member of the Central Stags team that won their first Plunket Shield title in five years. He took 48 wickets at 21.52 and is among the three frontline spinners in the Test squad alongside Sodhi and Todd Astle.
Last week, New Zealand had beefed up the squad to 13 with the additions of batsman Glenn Phillips and allrounder Corey Anderson. The T20I series begins on Wednesday and will be followed by as many ODIs and Tests subsequently.
T20I squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Corey Anderson, Lockie Ferguson, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Glenn Phillips, Ajaz Patel