New Zealand Announce 15-Member Squad For Test Series Against Sri Lanka
For the Test series in Sri Lanka, New Zealand selectors have picked four spinners in the squad.
New Zealand announced their 15-member squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka on Monday. With the Test series, both New Zealand and Sri Lanka will start their journey in the World Test Championship. After the World Cup 2019 final heartbreak, Kane Williamson will return to lead the New Zealand team, this time in the game's longest format. With spin set to play a role in the Test series in Sri Lanka, New Zealand selectors have picked four spinners in the squad. A total of nine teams will participate in the World Test Championship which will continue till 2021. In two years, 27 Test series will be played in the championship.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said he expects pitches in Sri Lanka to take turn and has adopted a "horses-for-courses" strategy in selecting Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville, Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle.
"Playing three spinners is an option in Sri Lankan conditions and we believe this group provides the best variations and skill mix on offer," he said.
The reliance on spin means quicks Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson miss out, with Stead opting for Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme.
New Zealand will play 14 Tests against six nations as part of the World Test Championship.
Stead said the Black Caps were ready for a new challenge after their dramatic defeat in the ODI World Cup final, when the scores were tied after regular play and a super over, but England won because they scored more boundaries.
"It's good timing for us after the World Cup," he said.
"It was an incredible time for the team and the country, but we're now excited to move forward as a group and sink our teeth into another opportunity."
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Will Somerville, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.
(With AFP inputs)