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NZ vs PAK T20I series: Michael Bracewell appointed New Zealand captain with top Kiwi stars missing due to IPL

With a host of top players competing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), New Zealand will be led for the first time by all-rounder Michael Bracewell in a five-match away T20I series against Pakistan later this month.

The likes of Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner and Kane Williamson are playing in the IPL, while Tim Southee, the team’s leading T20 wicket-taker since the last T20 World Cup, has not been considered following a busy playing schedule across formats.

Bracewell, 33, who was sidelined since March last year due to a ruptured Achilles followed by a broken finger, got his T20I cap only two years back and has played just 16 matches in the shortest format.

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Bracewell will be in charge of a side that has seven members from the previous T20 World Cup squads, along with two newly selected players in batter Tim Robinson and pacer Will O’Rourke.

O’Rourke has already made his Test and ODI debut.

“Michael (Bracewell) has faced a long period on the sideline and it’s exciting to see him back playing cricket again,” said New Zealand Cricket (NZC) selector Sam Wells.

“The fact he’s back playing at a high level after an Achilles rupture is testament to his hard work and application,” he added.

“He’s a well-respected leader and has captaincy experience for Wellington (in domestic cricket) along with New Zealand A and New Zealand XI teams, which we believe holds him in good stead to lead the group in Pakistan.”

Bracewell has scored 113 runs in 16 T20Is, including an unbeaten half-century. He has also played eight Tests and 19 ODIs.

On the two newcomers in the squad, Wells said they had come into the side on the back of good domestic performances.

“Tim (Robinson) is still very early in his domestic career but his natural ability and explosive power was on full display this season. Combined with his outstanding fielding, we believe he has a skill-set that’s well suited to the format. We’ve been delighted with Will’s early efforts in international cricket, in both the formats he’s played so far. This tour will be an excellent chance for him to test his skills in foreign conditions,” he added.

Gary Stead will head the New Zealand support staff with Luke Ronchi as the batting coach.

The coaching group will be assisted by former England international James Foster, who recently worked with the team in the UK and India.

The first match against Pakistan will be played in Rawalpindi April 18.


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 (wk), Ish Sodhi.

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