New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme will not be taking part in the Test series against West Indies as he has been ruled out due to bone bruising in his right foot. All-rounder Daryl Mitchell, who made his Test debut for New Zealand last year, will replace him in the squad. Spinner Ajaz Patel is recovering from his calf tear, but would not recover in time before the first Test at Hamilton. Thus, all-rounder Mitchell Santner has been brought into the Test side. Santner will also become only the eighth Kiwi player to captain New Zealand in T20Is when he will take over the reins from Tim Southee for the third T20I. Coach Gary Stead cofirmed all these changes on Wednesday.
“Mitch and Daryl will be available for the final T20 game, before linking up with the Test squad on Tuesday where we will monitor them closely to ensure they’re fit and fresh ahead of the first Test on Thursday. They both proved last summer in the Tests against England what they can do in our conditions with Mitch scoring a century and claiming three wickets at Bay Oval, while Daryl produced a polished half-century on debut at Seddon Park,” Gary Stead said.
“I’d like to acknowledge Mitch Santner for taking on the responsibility to captain the T20 side. It’s a great honour to lead your country and I know his calm demeanour along with the sheer amount of international experience he’s amassed in the past five years will hold him in good stead,” he further added.
Garry Stead believes that although de Grandhomme’s and Ajaz Patel’s unavailability will be felt by the Kiwis, the replacements Mitchell and Santner are more than capable of filling up for them, given their impressive performance against England last summer. After making his debut for New Zealand in 2015, Santner has played 138 international games including 44 T20Is. He has picked up 52 scalps in T20Is, the most by any Kiwi bowler since his debut and is ranked sixth in the ICC T20 rankings.