New Zealand has welcomed back Trent Boult and left-arm orthodox spinner Ajaz Patel into the squad for the two-match Test series against India, starting from February 21. For his impressive performances in the ODIs and the ‘A’ team setup, Kyle Jamieson was rewarded with his maiden Test cap.
After their 3-0 whitewashing of India in the ODIs, the Kiwis have another good news waiting for them. They will welcome back experienced pacer Boult back into the mix for the first time since injuring his right hand in the Boxing Day Test in Australia. The 30-year-old's return helps the Black Caps’ reunite their three most experienced quicks in him, Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner. Jamieson, who has been impressive in the domestic circuit besides the ODIs and the ‘A’ team, can slot in should the hosts consider a four-pronged pace attack.
In the spin department, the Kiwis have opted for the left-arm orthodox spinner Patel, the man who left a mark during his debut series against Pakistan in UAE which New Zealand famously won 2-1. Patel, who last played in the series against Sri Lanka in August 2019 will mark his return after Todd Astle called his time on Test cricket earlier this year. The 31-year-old will replace Mitchell Santner in the side, who joins opener Jeet Raval and fast bowler Matt Henry among the ones dropped.
"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," said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead, reported ESPNCricinfo
"Kyle will offer us a point of difference with the bounce he could extract on what is traditionally a good surface in Wellington. We're excited to welcome back Ajaz, who has done a great job for us overseas and has a proven domestic record in New Zealand conditions," he added.
The series kicks off at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Thursday, before the teams head to Christchurch for the finale from February 29.
New Zealand squad:Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell.