Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Mark Chapman, who represented Hong Kong at the T20 World Cup in 2014 and 2016, has been named in New Zealand's 15-member squad for the 2021 edition to be played in the UAE and Oman this October-November.
There was no place for Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme and Finn Allen. But Todd Astle, the 34-year-old legspinner and all of four T20Is old, was picked along with two other spinners in the squad - legspinner Ish Sodhi and left-arm spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner - for surfaces that will most likely aid turn.
Fast bowler Adam Milne was named as a standby who will travel with the squad, but will be called upon only as an injury replacement.
The same squad will also tour India later this year for three T20Is.
The squad features four frontline fast bowlers - Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Lockie Ferguson. Barring Southee, the other three would have had considerable training and match time at the IPL leading into the World Cup.
Boult is part of the Mumbai Indians attack, while Jamieson and Ferguson are key fast bowlers for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively. Like the faster men, Williamson and Jimmy Neesham, too, will head from the IPL into the World Cup, where New Zealand are yet to make a final.
Tim Seifert and Glenn Phillips are the two wicketkeeping options. New Zealand can also call upon a third, Devon Conway, if required. Conway's inclusion in the squad is a possible sign that the finger injury he sustained while batting for Southern Brave in the Hundred earlier this month, isn't very serious. The Wellington batter enjoyed a prolific maiden season as an international cricketer, one that culminated with New Zealand beating India to be crowned the inaugural World Test Champions.
Among the absentees, Taylor, a veteran of 102 T20Is, last featured in a T20I in November last year and de Grandhomme, meanwhile, hasn't featured in a T20I for close to 17 months, having last played India in January 2020. Allen, the highest run-scorer in the Super Smash last season, also missed out. Allen smashed 512 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 193 for tournament winners Wellington Firebirds. Those performances earned him a T20I debut against Bangladesh in March. He also earned a maiden IPL call-up on the back of a breakout season, picked by Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers.
New Zealand are placed in Group 2 alongside India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and two qualifiers at the T20 World Cup. After that, they will fly out to India for a T20I series followed by two Tests. NZC will announce the Test squad after a month or so.
Squad for T20 World Cup and India T20Is: Kane Williamson (capt), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover)