New Zealand have announced their squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against India. It remains to be seen which team will have the last laugh after being equally matched in the recently concluded limited-overs series. While India had whitewashed New Zealand 5-0 in the T20I series, the Kiwis returned the favour in the three ODIs that followed.
The New Zealand team led by the charismatic Kane Williamson will have the services of Tim Southee and Neil Wagner while Ajaz Patel will lead the spin attack. Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner has been excluded from the Test squad. Meanwhile, star pacer Trent Boult will be back to spearhead the pace battery and Kyle Jamieson, who was very effective with the ball in the ODI series will be featuring in the squad as well.
When it comes to the batting department, apart from Williamson, Tom Latham Tom Blundell, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling and veteran Ross Taylor would be looking to prove a point or two as well.
Here are the details of the 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.
The first Test match will be played at the Basin Reserve in Wellington and the action will commence at 4:00 AM IST. The series-deciding second Test match will then be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch between February 29 and March 4. The Test series will also form a part of the ongoing inaugural ICC World Test Championship where India are currently on top of the points table. However, it will be interesting to see whether Kohli & Co. can emulate their Test greatness overseas.
Even though Jasprit Bumrah is not in the best of form nowadays, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson backed Bumrah and went on to say that the youngster will be a force to reckon with in the upcoming Test series. During the post-match presentation after the 3rd ODI, Williamson said that no formats are different and everyone knows that Bumrah is a world-class bowler in all of the formats.
The Black Caps skipper then mentioned that the Mumbai Indians speedster is a threat when he has the ball in his hand. At the same time, Kane also added that the top-ranked ODI bowler is coming back to cricket after a period of time as well and from what he saw he has made out that the quickie is bowling really nicely.
(Image Courtesy: AP)