New Zealand announce Test squad for England series: Details here
A 15-man squad has been finalized by New Zealand for the upcoming three-match Test series against England, starting June 2. Skipper Kane Williamson makes a return to the Test side, having last played in December 2021. Pacer Trent Boult is unlikely to be available for the first Test. Meanwhile, uncapped wicket-keeper batsman Michael Bracewell has made the cut. Here are more details.
Pacers Jacob Duffy and Blair Tickner and all-rounder Rachin Ravindra were a part of the extended squad. However, the trio failed to make the cut for the series. Meanwhile, wicket-keeper Cam Fletcher would be raring to make his presence felt. He has 3,179 runs in 72 FC matches at 35.32 (six hundreds, 16 fifties). He has pocketed 232 catches and affected 13 stumpings.
Boult might not be ready for the opening Test given he arrived in London post the IPL proceedings. The left-arm pacer was a part of the Rajasthan Royals squad that played the final against Gujarat Titans. Henry Nicholls might skip the series opener as he is nursing a calf injury. Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kyle Jamieson, and Matt Henry will lead the pace attack.
Michael Bracewell, who has been named as a standby for Nicholls, will be looking forward to reap rewards if an opportunity comes up. A top-order batter, Bracewell has amassed 5,262 runs in 96 FC matches. He has smacked 11 hundreds and 22 fifties.
New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell (wicket-keeper), Devon Conway, Trent Boult, Cam Fletcher (wicket-keeper), Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Michael Bracewell (first Test), Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Will Young.
The first Test will be played at Lord's (June 2-6). Trent Bridge will play host to the second Test (June 10-14). Headingley will be the venue for the final Test (June 23-27).
Williamson had led New Zealand to a 1-0 series triumph in England prior to the ICC World Test Championship final. Top-order batter Devon Conway was the highest run-getter in the series. He had racked up 306 runs at 76.50. Southee and Wagner had picked seven scalps each in the series. Boult had pocketed six wickets in the second Test, a must-win duel in Edgbaston.
New Zealand are seated sixth in the WTC standings (PCT 38.89). The defending champions have mustered two wins, three losses, and one draw across three series. They drew their last series against SA by 1-1. Meanwhile, England occupy the bottom spot (PCT 12.5). They have one win, seven losses, and four draws in this cycle. Lastly, they had suffered a 1-0 defeat to WI.