New Zealand include Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson in 13-man squad for India Tests

New Zealand include Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson in 13-man squad for India Tests

Mitchell Santner has been dropped from the side.

Trent Boult
Trent Boult. (Photo Source: Twitter)

New Zealand announced their squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against India on Monday. Uncapped fast-bowler Kyle Jamieson has earned another call-up to the Test side after recently impressing against India in his debut ODI series. On his ODI debut, he was the Man of the Match after picking up two wickets and adding 76 runs with Ross Taylor.

The lanky pacer had earned his maiden call-up to the Test team last year when New Zealand added him to their Test squad in Australia last year after Lockie Ferguson’s injury. The Kiwis have also been boosted by the return of their pace spearhead Trent Boult. The left-arm pacer was out of action since injuring his right hand in the Boxing Day Test.

The other pacers in the team are Tim Southee and Neil Wagner. Jamieson is expected to be the back up for the New Zealand’s usual pace attack comprising Boult, Wagner and Southee. However, he could make his debut in the series if the hosts decide to play an all-pace attack.

Mitchell Santner dropped

In the spin department, the hosts have just one frontline spinner in the form of Ajaz Patel who has not played a Test since the tour of Sri Lanka last summer. Since then, New Zealand tried out Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle as well as Will Somerville without much success. Astle recently retired from Tests while Santner was dropped after he picked up just five wickets in four Tests in the ongoing season.

Along with Ajaz, Daryl Mitchell returns to the squad too. He has not played a Test since his debut against England in Hamilton in the first half of the ongoing season. Mitchell earned his recall after impressing against India in the recently-concluded three-day warm-up game where he dismissed the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant.

“With a squad of 13 we’ve put a priority on balance and making sure we have the needed variety and different options depending on the pitch conditions at the Basin Reserve,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said according to Cricbuzz. “It’s terrific to have Trent back with us and we’re looking forward to the energy and experience he adds to the group alongside his obvious class with the ball in hand.

“Kyle will offer us a point of difference with the bounce he could extract on what is traditionally a good surface in Wellington. We’re excited to welcome back Ajaz, who has done a great job for us overseas and has a proven domestic record in New Zealand conditions. Daryl showed his batting prowess in his Test debut against England in Hamilton and he naturally offers us great versatility with the different roles he can play,” he added.

The two-match Test series will start on February 21. New Zealand will be slight favourites in home conditions especially after whitewashing India in the ODI series.

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (capt) Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.