New Zealand have announced their 13-man squad for the two-Test series against India to start from February 21 onwards. Pace spearhead Trent Boult has recovered from a broken hand to return to the Kiwi side. Mitchell Santner, one of the most successful spin bowling all-rounders New Zealand have had in recent years, is one of three players to have been axed.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.
India Squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ishant Sharma
India will play two Tests in New Zealand to end their ongoing tour. The 1st Test will be played at Wellington from February 21 onwards. The 2nd Test will be played in Christchurch from February 29 onwards.
Opener Jeet Raval, spin-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner and paceman Matt Henry have all been jettisoned in the wake of the Black Caps’ 3-0 Test series whitewash by Australia.
Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel has been recalled for his first test since the tour of Sri Lanka last August, while Auckland paceman Kyle Jamieson has been included in place of the injured Lockie Ferguson.
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Left-armer Boult broke his right hand in the Boxing Day test against Australia in December but is fit for the first test starting at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Friday.
“It’s terrific to have Trent back with us and we’re looking forward to the energy and experience he adds to the group alongside his obvious class with the ball in hand,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said in a team release on Monday.
Jamieson earns his place after promising displays in the two one-day internationals against India.
The trusted trio of Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner are likely to form New Zealand’s pace unit but Stead suggested Jamieson was under consideration for the series-opener.
“Kyle will offer us a point of difference with the bounce he could extract on what is traditionally a good surface in Wellington,” he said.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell, who replaced the struggling Raval during the Australia series, will remain at the top of the order after scoring a valiant 121 in the Melbourne test.
One-test all-rounder Daryl Mitchell, the son of former New Zealand rugby union player and coach John Mitchell, has been included as injury cover after making his debut against England in November.
(With Reuters inputs)
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