3 newcomers in New Zealand cricket squad for 2 England tests
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — South Africa-born batsman Devon Conway has been named among three uncapped players in the New Zealand cricket team which will play two tests in England in June.
Conway has played Twenty20 and one-day internationals in the past year and is included in the test squad for the first time along with Wellington allrounder Rachin Ravindra and seamer Jacob Duffy.
New Zealand has named a 20-man squad for the tests at Lord’s from June 2 and Edgbaston from June 10. The squad will be trimmed to 15 for the World Test Championship final against India at Southampton beginning June 18.
Ravindra, 21, is seen as one of New Zealand’s most promising players. The left-hand batsman and left-arm spin bowler made his debut for Wellington province at 18 and has scored three centuries and nine half centuries at first-class level, including a century for New Zealand A against the West Indies.
“Rachin’s been earmarked as a star of the future since his under-19 days and we’ve been really encouraged by the advancement in his game this season with both bat and ball,” Black Caps coach Gary Stead said. “He’s obviously an opening option but also has the ability to bat in the middle order which combined with his left-arm finger spin make him a great asset to our squad.”
Duffy took 4-33 and was named Player of the Match in his T20 debut for New Zealand against Pakistan at Eden Park this year.
“Jacob’s been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit and his ability to swing the ball made him a particularly compelling option in English conditions,” Stead said.
Conway’s inclusion in the squad still depends on immigration officials allowing him dispensation to return to New Zealand when the tour ends. New Zealand’s borders are open only to returning citizens or permanent residents and Conway’s application for permanent residency is still being processed. He met cricket’s residency standard last year after living in New Zealand for three years.
Allrounder Colin de Grandhomme has been named in the squad but will have to pass a fitness test after undergoing surgery on his right ankle in March. Fast bowler Doug Bracewell, who played the most recent of his 27 tests in 2016, also requires a fitness test after sustaining a hip injury and veteran batsman Ross Taylor is recovering from a hamstring strain.
Captain Kane Williamson, allrounder Mitchell Santner and fast bowlers Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult may miss the first test, depending on commitments in the Indian Premier League.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, B.J. Watling, Will Young.
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