New Zealand batsman Colin Munro has recovered from the hamstring strain which kept him out of the final T20I against Pakistan and will travel to Sydney to face Australia in the first T20I of the upcoming tri-series.
The Blackcaps are looking to bounce back from the 2-1 series loss to Pakistan when they take on Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 3 February before crossing the Tasman to play their final three games of the series, which also includes England, at home.
Munro, who has slipped from first to fourth place in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for T20I Batsmen, scored 49 not out in the first T20I against Pakistan in Wellington, but managed just a single in the second before missing the crucial decider, which New Zealand lost in Tauranga.
He was replaced by Ross Taylor for that match and the veteran smashed 25 from 11 balls, but the Blackcaps fell 18 runs short to lose the series and surrender top spot in the ICC T20I team rankings.
Munro's availability is therefore a real boost for New Zealand. The 30-year-old has shot to prominence recently, scoring 997 runs in 40 T20Is at an average of 33.23 and with an impressive strike rate of 157.50. He is also the only player in the world to have scored three T20I hundreds.
“Colin has been assessed and we’re optimistic he will be fine ahead of Saturday,” said New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen. "We’ve seen how big an impact Colin has in white-ball cricket, so we’re looking forward to having him back.
The squad also includes the inexperienced trio of all-rounder Anaru Kitchen, wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell and bowler Seth Rance.
“Historically we’ve seen that the SCG can spin a little bit, so it’s important that we have options in that area," Larsen added. "Mitchell and Ish are our key guys, but having the likes of Anaru and Kane to do a job if need be is important as well.”
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.