New Zealand have picked batting all-rounder Michael Bracewell for the upcoming four-match Test series against England. On the other hand, regular skipper Kane Williamson also returns to the squad after a long injury lay-off.
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batter, Cam Fletcher, and pace bowler Blair Tickner have also been included. Fletcher will be the second wicket-keeper behind Tom Blundell. The duo were picked in the Test squad for the series against South Africa earlier in the year.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead is keen to produce a good result against the mighty England side, who recently appointed Ben Stokes as their red-ball captain after Joe Root parted ways.
“It’s going to be a busy winter, but one we’re looking to embrace as a group,” Gary Stead, New Zealand coach, said. “We’ve seen in recent times the need to be flexible with squads, schedules and staffing – and this winter will be no different. The red ball tour of England first up is clearly high on our priority list and we’re looking forward to hitting the ground running over there in a couple of weeks’ time,” he added.
Five of the New Zealand cricketers – Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway, who are currently playing in the IPL, would likely miss out on the warm-up matches at Hove and Chelmsford on May 20 and 26 respectively. The squad will be subsequently trimmed to 15 players ahead of the first Test at Lord’s. Currently, Will Young and Colin de Grandhomme are playing County cricket in England.
We want to have everyone fit and available for 1st Test – New Zealand head coach
Gary Stead said that New Zealand think tank will look to prioritise the workload of the players in the backdrop of a busy season ahead of them.
“All going to plan we will have everyone fit and available for the first Test at Lord’s, and aim to announce our final squad of 15 for that series once we’ve completed our warm-up games,” Stead added.
New Zealand will play their first Test at Lord’s June 2. The second and third Tests will be played at Trent Bridge and Headingley on June 10 and 23 respectively.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Cameron Fletcher, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Will Young
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