Cricket: Mitchell Santner named to captain Blackcaps in Twenty20 series against India, Auckland's Ben Lister given first international call-up

Mitchell Santner will lead the Blackcaps in their upcoming Twenty20 International series against India, while Auckland's Ben Lister has received his maiden international call-up.

In the absence of regular white ball captain Kane Williamson, test counterpart Tim Southee and vice-captain Tom Latham, 30-year-old Santner will step into a leadership role again.

The bowling all-rounder has previously led the Blackcaps in 10 T20 internationals, with eight wins, one defeat and one no result.

Santner also boasts experience captaining the Blackcaps in India, leading New Zealand as part of their 3-0 series defeat at the end of 2021.

"Mitch is a leader in our white ball teams and has captained the T20 side in India before," said chief selector Gavin Larsen. 

"His experience in Indian conditions will be invaluable leading this group."

Santner last led the Blackcaps in August 2022, as the Blackcaps sealed a 3-0 series sweep over the Netherlands, which saw him make his career-high score of 77 not out with the bat.

Elsewhere, Auckland left-arm bowler Lister will have the chance to don the silver fern for the first time.

Lister is selected off the back of strong white ball form for the Aces and boasts a record of 40 wickets in 39 Twenty20 matches at an average of just over 27.

The 27-year-old's maiden call-up also comes after showing for New Zealand 'A' in India at the end of 2022.

Lister's selection gives the Blackcaps a left-arm option with the new ball, following Trent Boult's move to hand back his national contract in mid-2022.

Canterbury all-rounder Henry Shipley is also in line to appear in his first Twenty20 International, after making his one-day international debut against Pakistan.

The pair's inclusion comes amid a spate of absences in the New Zealand bowling ranks, with Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Adam Milne and Ben Sears all unavailable.

Like Williamson and Southee, coach Gary Stead will also miss the series in order to prepare for the Blackcaps' upcoming test series against England, beginning in February.

Auckland's Ben Shipley.
Auckland's Ben Shipley. Photo credit: Photosport

In his place, batting coach Luke Ronchi will deputise as Blackcaps' head coach for the tour of India.

The Blackcaps face India in three Twenty20s at the end of January and start of February, with matches to be played in Ranchi, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

New Zealand squad: Mitchell Santner (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Ben Lister, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Rippon, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.