Riley Meredith handed debut, Mitchell Santner ruled out as New Zealand seek series win


Kane Williamson opted to bowl first with Mark Chapman brought in for the home side

New Zealand won the toss and decided to bowl against Australia

New Zealand were forced to alter their plans as they aimed to wrap up the series against Australia after Mitchell Santner was ruled out of the third T20I having woken up with a head cold.

He was self-isolating at the team hotel as a precaution while awaiting the results of a Covid-19 Test. Adam Milne, the fast bowler who has not played for New Zealand since 2018, was drafted into the squad as cover but batsman Mark Chapman was brought into the XI which means a significant change to the balance of the side

Australia have made one change as they try to keep the series alive with Riley Meredith, the Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmania pace bowler, making his debut in place of Daniel Sams who had a big impact with the bat in Dunedin. It means the visitors retain both frontline spinners in their XI.

There is some uncertainty over how the surfaces will hold up with three games now in five days in Wellington after the changes to the schedule forced by the Auckland lockdown. Kane Williamson opted to bowl first with Aaron Finch saying he would have done the same.

New Zealand 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Tim Seifert (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Devon Conway, 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 Jimmy Neesham, 7 Mark Chapman, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Trent Boult

Australia 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Josh Philippe, 3 Matthew Wade (wk), 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Ashton Agar, 8 Jhye Richardson, 9 Kane Richardson, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Riley Meredith

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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