New Zealand, on Wednesday, named a 20-man squad for the country’s two-Test series versus England and confirmed that 15 of the selected players will be shortlisted for the World Test Championship Final versus India. The 20-man squad includes the trio of Rachin Ravindra, Devon Conway and Jacob Duffy.
New Zealand have named a 20-man squad for the country’s two-Test series versus England in June and have confirmed that the 20 players will serve as ‘probables’ for the World Test Championship Final squad against India to be played on June 18. Prior to the showdown versus India in Southampton, the Kiwis will play two-Tests against England and a four-day warm-up match versus Somerset and a myriad fresh faces will have a golden opportunity to stake their claim to be in the World Test Championship Final squad.
Among the 20 names selected for the prelude are all-rounder Rachin Ravindra and pacer Jacob Duffy, both of whom have received maiden Test call-ups. 21-year-old Ravindra, who bats at the top of the order for Wellington, did not enjoy the greatest of Plunket Shield seasons with the bat, averaging just 23.10, but a remarkable series versus West Indies 'A' in late 2020 - he notched up 2 tons in 3 games, representing New Zealand 'A' - has seen the left-hander earn a maiden Test call-up. Contrastingly, Duffy, who made T20I debut versus Pakistan four months ago, was the fourth-highest wicket taker in the four-day competition, scalping 22 wickets @ 22.27, and this consistency has seen the 26-year-old earn a place in the extended squad for the England tour.
Barring the aforementioned two, another batsman who could be in line for a Test debut is Wellington’s Devon Conway, who has taken to international cricket like duck to water since making his debut for the Kiwis in the summer. Conway’s limited-over prowess is well-known to the world, but the 29-year-old, who averages 47.21 in first-class cricket, has been one of the most consistent performers in the Plunket Shield over the years and thus is certain to be a starter but for a few complications. New Zealand’s Covid policies prevents non-residents from leaving the country and Conway not being an official resident of the country, yet, means that he is invariably bound to stumble upon roadblocks before being cleared to fly to England.
The 20-man squad for England also sees the return of right-arm seamer Doug Bracewell, who last played a Test match for the Kiwis in 2016. Bracewell, notably, representing Central Districts, took 15 wickets @ 26.20 in the recently-concluded Plunket Shield season. The rest of the squad features incumbents and will be led by skipper Kane Williamson, who has scored two double-tons in his last four Test innings.
New Zealand Squad for England tour: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young