New Zealand have confirmed their 15-man squad to contest the inaugural ICC World Test Championship Final against India, at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, starting on June 18 (Friday).
Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, and Mitchell Santner are the five players who will drop out from the original 20-player touring squad for the England Test series. Head coach Gary Stead noted the contributions of the departing group and thanked them for their efforts over the past month.
“It’s not easy to say goodbye to guys who have given so much to the group. Doug, Jacob and Rachin have been selfless in their attitude to helping the team and supporting those in the playing XI,” Stead said.
Ajaz Patel has been selected as the specialist spinner, with Colin de Grandhomme the all-rounder and Will Young the specialist batting cover, while Tom Blundell is the back-up wicket-keeper.
“We’ve gone with Ajaz as our specialist spinner after an impressive outing at Edgbaston and we believe he could be a factor at the Ageas Bowl.
“Colin’s been an integral member of our Test set-up for many years and it was great to see him return at Lord’s after a long injury lay-off. He’s a proven performer at the top level and we back him to do a job with the bat or the ball if called upon,” Stead added.
Kane Williamson ready for WTC final
Meanwhile, New Zealand suffered two injury blow minutes ahead of the second Test against England. Skipper Kane Williamson and wicket-keeper BJ Watling failed to make it to the playing XI with injuries. However, Gary Stead has confirmed that both cricketers have benefitted from the week off and are ready for the WTC final against India.
“Kane and BJ have certainly benefitted from their week of rest and rehabilitation and we expect them to be fit and available for the final,” he added.
New Zealand Test squad for WTC Final:
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young