New Zealand will play the first T20I at Ranchi on January 27 after the conclusion of the three-match ODI series beginning in Hyderabad on January 18.
Lister’s inclusion in the squad comes after he made his New Zealand A debut in India late last year.
The 27-year-old’s tour to India was cut short after he was down with pneumonia in Bangalore. The infection saw him spend time in hospital before returning home to continue his recovery.
Santner’s side will have an experienced set of T20 cricketers, including nine players from last year’s T20 World Cup squad.
Among the range of players still relatively new to international cricket are all-rounder Henry Shipley, who made his international debut in the ODI series against Pakistan, and leg-spinner Michael Rippon, who made his debut against Scotland during last year’s European Tour.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) selector Gavin Larsen said Lister had impressed with his range of skills across formats.
“Ben has made an exciting impact for (domestic side) Auckland Aces early in his career in red and white ball cricket. Since his debut in late 2017, he is the Aces’ leading wicket taker in T20 and List A cricket.
“His ability to swing the ball considerably as a left-armer is particularly exciting.
“We all felt for Ben after his tour ended the way it did last year, and it’s a testament to his work ethic that he’s been able to return to domestic cricket so strongly this season.”
Larsen said Santner had impressed in his previous opportunities as captain of the T20 team. “Mitch is a leader in our white ball teams and has captained the T20 side in India before. His experience in Indian conditions will be invaluable leading this group.”
Luke Ronchi will be head coach of the squad with Bob Carter (batting), Paul Wiseman (bowling) and Trevor Penney (fourth coach) as his assistants.
New Zealand T20 squad: Mitchell Santner (captain), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Ben Lister, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Michael Rippon, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.