Daryl Mitchell rested for fifth T20I against Pakistan; Rachin Ravindra called up

Allrounder Daryl Mitchell has been pulled out of New Zealand’s upcoming fifth T20I against Pakistan, as the hosts seek to manage his workload. Mitchell, who hit two half-centuries across the first four T20Is, will be replaced by allrounder Rachin Ravindra, who had himself initially been rested for the series.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead the decision was taken keeping in mind Mitchell’s workload and the international cricket that follows the Pakistan T20Is, as well as the fact that the hosts were already 4-0 up in the five-match series.

“We’ve made a call to give Daryl Mitchell a break from this game. We’ve obviously got some important Test matches leading up,” Stead said. “Daryl’s a three-format player, so it’s really important that we do manage his workload over this period. He’s highly likely to play a big part in the rest of our [home] season. So we just thought this is an opportune time [to give him a break], given the series is won.

“But it’s also nice to introduce Rachin back into the side. He’s been on a period of break, and came back and played one game for Wellington Firebirds [in the domestic T20s]. He fits well into the team in the role that we’d like him to play.”

Since August 30 last year, Mitchell has played in 28 of New Zealand’s 34 matches across formats. The six matches that he missed were both three-match ODI series against Bangladesh – the first one away in September 2023, while the other at home in December. And once New Zealand finish the ongoing T20Is against Pakistan on Sunday, they host South Africa for two Tests starting February 4, and then Australia for three T20Is and two Tests from February 21.

Ravindra, meanwhile, last played for New Zealand in the third ODI against Bangladesh in Napier on December 23. Since then, his only match at the competitive level came for Wellington against Northern Districts on January 15.

‘Conway still has Covid-19 symptoms’

Stead also said that the final call on the participation of opening batter Devon Conway in the fifth T20I against Pakistan would be made only on the morning of the match. Conway was ruled out of the fourth T20I on Friday due to Covid-19, and Stead was content in waiting for another day for the symptoms to clear.

“We’ll make a call tomorrow morning on Devon; he still has symptoms at the moment,” Stead said. “But hopefully the next 24 hours, and that will be a much better position for him. We won’t know that until tomorrow morning, and we’ll make the call then.”

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