New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday announced a fresh squad of Black Caps for the ICC World Test Championship final against India. The Black Caps released the final 15-man squad for the much-awaited finals of the inaugural ICC championship of the longest-format of the game.
The squad shows a fierce bowling line-up. They have added Ajaz Patel to the squad as the specialist spinner. He also starred in the 2nd Test against England, making a topliner debut. He scalped four wickets while also limiting the opponents to the minimum. Colin de Grandhomme is the all-rounder while Will Young has been included as the specialist batting cover.
Having recovered from his injury, Kane Williamson is now back in the squad as the captain. Wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling is also included in the squad. Tom Blundell will serve as the back-up wicket-keeper.
Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, and Mitchell Santner are the five players who have been pruned from the original 20-player touring squad for the England Test series.
“There’s had to be some tough calls with Mitchell and Daryl victims of the fierce competition we currently have for places in the Test side,” said Black Caps coach Gary Stead on the squad selection.
“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.
“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.
“Playing in a World Cup Final is a really special occasion and I know the guys are looking forward to getting into their work here in Southampton.
“India are a world-class outfit who possess match winners all through their line-up, so we’re under no illusion about how tough they will be to beat.”
BLACKCAPS Test squad: 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
NZC further informed that Daryl Mitchell (Middlesex) and Doug Bracewell (Nottinghamshire) will remain in England to play in the Vitality T20 Blast.
The inaugural ICC World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18-22.