NZ vs SL | We have the right 13 to go forward, Gary Stead announces unchanged squad for Test series
The Black Caps are expected to field the same XI against Sri Lanka as they did against England|
New Zealand Cricket on Wednesday announced that the same contingent that won the historic second Test against England would be available for selection in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. Head coach Gary Stead talked briefly about the result's impact on team spirit and its significance.
New Zealand are set to take on Asian rivals Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series beginning on March 9 in Christchurch in what is scheduled to be the last affair of the ongoing World Test Championship cycle. The hosts, high on confidence after a record-breaking win against a flying England side, announced their squad for the Lankan challenge on Wednesday with coach Gary Stead opting for an unchanged contingent. The Kiwis became just the fourth team to win a Test after being asked to follow on while also registering the closest win in Test cricket history -- 1 run -- in Wellington on February 28 to level the series 1-1. The triumph against unprecedented odds was just the second against the Three Lions by any side in the 12 Tests that Ben Stokes has been permanent captain for, his stint including a 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand when they visited England last summer.
“We felt that the 13 that we have here is the right 13 to go forward. I think when you have a win like that (in Wellington), whether you win or lose, your confidence will improve," head coach Gary Stead was quoted saying by Sportstar.
The Black Caps were at risk of missing Devon Conway and Matt Henry through a groin string and back stiffness respectively but the duo has pulled through in time to be available for the upcoming clash. The side would still be without the services of the non-contracted Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson who is slated to undergo back surgery that would rule him out for the next three to four months.
“I think we’ve had (character) in the team all the time I’ve been there. And probably before that as well. When you look back over the last 10 years or so we’ve been a team that have punched above our weight and I think yesterday was a great example of that,” Stead added.
New Zealand's squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka: Tim Southee (C), Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young