McCullum confirms Sodhi T20I debut

New Zealand

Captain Brendon McCullum has confirmed leg-spinner Ish Sodhi's presence in New Zealand's XI for Saturday's opening Twenty20 International against the West Indies in Dominica.

Captain Brendon McCullum has confirmed leg-spinner Ish Sodhi's presence in New Zealand's XI for Saturday's opening Twenty20 International against the West Indies in Dominica.

Sodhi clinched eight key wickets in a recent Test series win over the West Indians – and will be rewarded with a debut in the shortest format of the international game.

"Ish will make his debut and the wicket looks like it should favour his sort of bowling, so hopefully he will perform well and we will continue to build the depths and strengths of our short-version team," said McCullum.

"I must admit it is a little bit hard to refocus somewhat on two T20I games at the end of the tour but we have some high standards that we try and live by and this will be a good test of whether we can remain consistent with our traits and characteristics that we want to be known for in a different format in a challenging situation."

All-rounder Jimmy Neesham will open the batting against a home team sporting the services of in-form spinners Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine. The Windies, too, have been bolstered by the return of the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard.

"One of the real positives out of this is being able to give guys who may not have had some of the opportunities they are going to get otherwise. Jimmy at the top, I am excited to see how he goes," added McCullum.

"He has got the game to succeed at the top of the order in the short version of cricket. I don't want to see him focus on that in Test cricket because he has made a great start in the role he is in but short version I think he can be a real weapon for us at the top and allows us to balance our attack nicely as well and get both all-rounders into the line-up."

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