New Zealand Cricket Board has announced their Test team for the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand and Michael Bracewell has earned his maiden call-up to the squad. Also, skipper Kane Williamson, who has been away from Test cricket since November last year, returns to the squad.
New Zealand are set to tour England for a three-match Test series in June with the series set to start on June 2 and conclude on June 27 with the third Test. New Zealand have announced their squad for the series and Michael Bracewell has earned his maiden call-up to the red-ball cricket. Bracewell scored 725 and 190 runs in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 first-class seasons. Not only that, he has played three ODIs and can also bowl off-spin.
New Zealand regular skipper Kane Williamson makes a return to the squad after being away from the Test cricket since November last year due to a tendon injury in the elbow. The duo of Cam Fletcher and Blair Tickner who were picked in the Test squad for South Africa earlier this year are backed as well. Fletcher averaged over 40 in the 2021-22 Plunket Shield while Tickner has five wickets from two ODIs to his name.
Hamish Rutherford is another name to be included in the squad as a result of being the third-highest run-scorer in the first-class competition in 2021-22. New Zealand coach Geary Stead said that the tour will be important for the team and touring England is always a special occasion.
"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,” Stead said, reported Cricbuzz.
"Touring England is always a special occasion with the people, the grounds and the history all making for a wonderful experience. The English are always tough in their own conditions and have many talented players they can call on. There's a reason we've only ever won a couple of Test series over there and we know we'll have to be at our very best to do it again.”
Stead also added that it will be an exciting time for Bracewell and Fletcher as they will tour with the New Zealand squad for the first time.
“It's an exciting time in particular for Michael and Cam, who will be heading away with the Blackcaps for the first time. They had a taste of the environment this summer and I'm sure they'll be looking forward to the opportunity of touring with the side and all the extra things that entails,” he explained.