India vs New Zealand: Trent Boult Returns For India Tests; Mitchell Santner Dropped
A fit-again Trent Bout returned to the Test fold for the upcoming two-match series against India. The left-arm pacer had been away from action for over a month due to a hand injury which he suffered in the second Test against Australia last year. It ruled him out of the third Test and home fixtures against India.
Boult will be leading the pace attack that includes Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner. Lockie Ferguson, who made his debut against Australia, isn’t fit yet. Colin de Grandhomme and Daryl Mitchell are two pace-bowling all-rounders in the squad.
Ajaz Patel was selected as the sole spinner. He was dropped following the Sri Lanka tour but with no other option available, the selectors recalled him. Todd Astle has retired from first-class cricket while Will Somerville is out of action due to an ankle injury. Mitchell Santner was dropped due to poor performances in the longest format.
Also dropped from the squad was opener Jeet Raval. The team management had moved on from him on the Australia tour but with regulars missing out, he played the third Test as number three batsman. Wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell will play as an opener. Matt Henry and Glenn Phillips were other two players to be dropped.
The upcoming series will also see Kane Williamson returning to the longest format. The 29-year-old missed the third Test against Australia.
The two-match Test series kicks off on February 21 with Basin Reserve, Wellington hosting the opening game. The second Test will be played at Hagley Oval in Christchurch from February 29.
Meanwhile, the visiting camp got a big boost as Ishant Sharma has passed the fitness test and will join the squad soon. He was in doubt for the series after suffering an ankle issue last month but the senior pacer has now been cleared. He is likely to lead the pace attack in the series.
Squad: Kane Williamson (Captain), Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson
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