Former RCB star surprisingly made New Zealand captain for Pakistan tour

New Zealand will tour Pakistan for a five-match T20I series, which is set to begin on April 18.

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At a time when the cricket world is busy in the IPL, Pakistan will host New Zealand in a five-match T20I series. The series is set to be played from April 18 to 27, with Lahore and Rawalpindi hosting the games. The series is also seen as a preparation for both the teams for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

While most of the New Zealand's first-choice players are busy playing in the IPL, the NZC has chosen a second-string side to play the hosts Pakistan. There are some new faces in the squad and it promises to be an exciting series.

Michael Bracewell made New Zealand captain for Pakistan tour

Allrounder Michael Bracewell has been appointed as the New Zealand captain for the series. The decision comes as a surprise as Bracewell has not played any international cricket since March last year and only returned to domestic duties following injury concerns recently.

It is to be noted that first-choice captaincy options like Kane Williamson and Mitchell Santner are playing in the IPL right now and thus, will be unavailable for this series. Their absence meant a chance for Bracewell, who has played 16 T20Is for New Zealand till now. The 33-year-old Bracewell has previously represented Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the IPL.

New Zealand selector Sam Wells announced the decision and showed his faith for Bracewell's leadership qualities.

“Michael has faced a long period on the sideline and it’s exciting to see him back playing cricket again. The fact he’s back playing at a high level after an Achilles rupture is testament to his hard work and application. He’s a well-respected leader and has captaincy experience for Wellington along with New Zealand A and New Zealand XI teams, which we believe holds him in good stead to lead the group in Pakistan,” Wells said.

Fast bowler Will O'Rourke and Tim Robinson are likely to make the T20I debuts. O'Rourke impressed on his Test debut against Australia while big-hitter Robinson scored big runs in New Zealand's domestic cricket.

Michael Bracewell will lead a side without several first-choice players like Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, and Glenn Phillips. Players like Colin Munro, Tim Southee, Tom Latham, and Will Young are also missing due to unknown reasons.

Also read: "Should play in T20 World Cup": Fans urge BCCI to include Mayank Yadav in WC squad after fiery spell against RCB

New Zealand squad for T20I series in Pakistan

Michael Bracewell (c), Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi.

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