Kane Williamson has decided to step down as the test captain of New Zealand with Tim Southee set to replace him in the role ahead of their tour to Pakistan.

Williamson, who led his side to the inaugural World Test Championship, will continue to lead in the limited-overs.

“Captaincy comes with an increased workload on and off the field and at this stage of my career, I feel the time is right for this decision. After discussions with NZC, we felt that continuing to captain the white-ball formats was preferable with two World Cups in the next two years.”

Kane Williamson took over as test captain from Brendon McCullum and led New Zealand in 40 Tests, winning 22, losing ten and drawing eight games.

His batting average of 57 and 11 hundreds as captain are both records for New Zealand.

Southee, meanwhile, will become the nation’s 31st test captain when he leads the team against Pakistan on December 26th in Karachi. The bowler has already captained his side in 22 T20Is and one ODI.

Williamson will then take over the captaincy for the three ODIs in Karachi on January 10, 12 and 14.

Meanwhile, Cricket New Zealand (NZC) has named the test squad which will take on Pakistan.

With the wickets expected to turn, New Zealand has recalled Ish Sodhi after a four-year absence while handing call-ups to uncapped Blair Tickner and T20 specialist Glenn Phillips.

The squads for the limited-overs series will be announced on December 19.

New Zealand Test squad:

Tim Southee (capt), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.