The five-match T20 international series between New Zealand and England gets underway at Christchurch on Friday.

Following one of the most memorable summers in the history of English cricket, there are several new faces in the squad which will once again be led by Eoin Morgan.

Opening batsman Tom Banton and pace bowler Saqib Mahmood have been called up for the first time after standout white-ball summers.

Banton hit 549 runs for Somerset as he was the second-highest run-scorer in the Vitality Blast, while Lancashire’s Mahmood picked up eight T20 wickets in addition to his tournament best tally of 28 in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Worcestershire’s limited overs specialist Pat Brown received his maiden call-up after a couple of fine Vitality Blast campaigns, with Lancashire leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson also rewarded for an excellent 2019.

The likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer have all been rested after their key roles in both the World Cup win and the Ashes series, as England start to build towards the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia this time next year.

Ranked number two in the T20 world rankings, England will be hoping to secure a victory in the five-match series to close the gap on number one side Pakistan.

Standing in their way is a New Zealand side who will be without skipper Kane Williamson, who has been ruled of the T20 matches with a hip injury.

Williamson is expected to be back for the two-match Test series, but pace bowler Tim Southee will captain the Black Caps in his absence.

Fellow fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is named in the squad for the first three games following his recovery from a broken thumb, with Trent Boult then set to take his place for the final two games.

England will be keen not to lose any momentum after an exhilarating summer and despite this being the shorter format of the game, they will already have an eye on building a squad for the 50-over World Cup in four years’ time.

There will be a natural transition of certain players being integrated into regular squads and some of the World Cup heroes eventually moving on from the international game. It is up to the likes of Banton, Mahmood and Parkinson to make a statement in this series and make themselves indispensable to England’s vision for the next few years.

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