New Zealand announce squad for Bangladesh Tests, Ajaz Patel dropped

Tom Latham will lead the team in injured Kane Williamson's absence.

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Ajaz Patel celebrating
Ajaz Patel celebrating. (Photo Source: Twitter/BLACKCAPS)

In what can be called a shocking decision, New Zealand have left out spinner Ajaz Patel from their 13-man squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Bangladesh. The left-arm spinner created history earlier this month, having taken 10 wickets in an innings against India in Mumbai. While many viewed Patel as New Zealand’s primary spinner, the national selectors viewed things from a different perspective.

In Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell, the Kiwis have named two spin-bowling options in their squad. However, Ajaz hasn’t found a place as he doesn’t offer assistance in other departments. Speaking of his exclusion, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead admitted the left-arm spinner is unfortunate to miss out, having bowled a historic spell recently. He, however, explained the selection committee has applied a ‘horses-for-courses selection policy’.

You do feel for Ajaz after his record-breaking display in India: Gary Stead

“You do feel for Ajaz after his record-breaking display in India. However, we’ve always applied a horses-for-courses selection policy and believe the players selected best fit the way we want to take on Bangladesh here at home,” stated Stead in a statement.

“We feel having both Rachin and Daryl in the squad gives us a nice balance and the ability to pick a side best suited to the conditions we expect,” he added. Meanwhile, regular skipper Kane Williamson will miss this series due to his stubborn elbow issues. Hence, Tom Latham will lead the Blackcaps in his absence.

“It’s obviously disappointing not to have Kane available for this series but, as we noted in India, he is undergoing a sustained period of rest followed by rehabilitation, strengthening and gradual batting loading. We have every confidence in Tom leading the side – he’s done an excellent job in the past when called upon,” asserted Stead.

Speaking about the allowance of crowd in stadiums, Stead said: “Seeing the crowd enjoying their cricket really lifts the guys and we know from grounds like Edgbaston in England how much the dressing-up can add to the atmosphere. While you may not see me in fancy dress, I’m sure the Kiwi summer crowds will get into it.”

New Zealand’s 13-man squad for Bangladesh Tests: Tom Latham (C), Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Devon Conway

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