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Williamson is on paternity leave; Boult is back in the New Zealand Twenty20 team.

Williamson is on paternity leave; Boult is back in the New Zealand Twenty20 team.

As New Zealand gets ready for the T20 World Cup, Trent Boult is back in the team. The three-match T20I series against Australia starts on February 21 in Wellington.

But the left-arm seamer has only been selected for the T20Is’ second and third games. In the UAE’s ILT20 competition, he is presently playing for MI Emirates, a team that has advanced to the knockout stages. Boult will only have a six-day respite before lining up for New Zealand in the second T20I in Auckland if MI Emirates get to the final on Saturday.

Since New Zealand’s defeat by India in the 2023 ODI World Cup semi-final in Mumbai, Boult has not appeared for the Kiwis. Before joining MI Emirates, he then joined the Deccan Gladiators of the Abu Dhabi T10 league. This will be his first Twenty20 International appearance since November 2022, when New Zealand lost to Pakistan in the semi-final of the Twenty20 World Cup.

An important boost to a New Zealand team that will be without regular captain Kane Williamson (on paternity leave) and premier all-rounder Daryl Mitchell (rehabilitating a long-term foot injury) is Boult’s comeback. Mitchell is giving himself the best opportunity of recuperating for the two-match Test series against Australia, which starts on February 29, also in Wellington. Mitchell has been carrying the ailment for about six to seven months.

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