New Zealand team
New Zealand team. Image Credits: Twitter

New Zealand, on Friday (January 26), announced their squad for the upcoming two-Test NZ vs SA series against South Africa. The highlight of the squad is the return of Rachin Ravindra who is set for a new role in the Test side.

The Black Caps have dropped Henry Nicholls for the series and is set to be replaced by Ravindra in the middle-order. Ravindra, who starred in the ODI World Cup last year, has not played a Test since the Test against Bangladesh at home in January 2022. He has played only 3 Tests so far, scoring 73 runs in addition to taking 3 wickets.

After the breakout campaign in the World Cup, Ravindra will be more confident and will be hoping to cement his place in the Test side. Talking about Nicholls, he was a part of New Zealand squad for their last assignment which was the series in Bangladesh. The middle-order batter has played 56 Tests so farm, scoring a total of 2973 runs with the help of 9 centuries and 12 half-centuries.

New Zealand squad for South Africa series:

New Zealand have included Kane Williamson in their squad. The star batsman recently suffered a hamstring injury during the second match of the five-T20I series against Pakistan and had to miss the remainder of the series. There were also doubts over the participation of Tom Blundell and Kyle Jamieson but New Zealand head coach Gary Stead is confident the trio would recover in time for the series.

“Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson and Kane Williamson are all at slightly different points in their rehabilitation plans. But we’re confident they’ll be good to go at Bay Oval,” Stead said.

In another call, the hosts have gave maiden Test call-up to Canterbury fast-bowler Will O’Rourke although only for the second Test. In the spin department, Mitchell Santner has retained his place while Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel failed to make the cut. Santner has not played a Test at home since 2020 and will be hoping to end the long wait against the Proteas.

New Zealand squad:

Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O’Rourke (second test only), Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.