Southampton: Opener Devon Conway, who scored a double century on debut this month, left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel as well as injured duo Kane Williamson and BJ Watling, have been included in 15-member New Zealand squad for the World Test Championship final against India to be played at Hampshire Bowl from Friday.
Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra and Mitchell Santner have been left out after the squad that played the two-Test series against England was whittled down.
“There has had to be some tough calls with Mitchell [Santner] and Daryl [Mitchell] victims of the fierce competition we currently have for places in the Test side,” said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead.
“We have gone with Ajaz as our specialist spinner after an impressive outing at Edgbaston [where he took four wickets] and we believe he could be a factor at the Ageas Bowl (Hampshire Bowl).”
Skipper Williamson had missed the second Test at Edgbaston due to a niggle in his left elbow while wicketkeeper-batsman Watling sat out of it due to back injury.
“Kane [Williamson] and BJ [Watling] have certainly benefited from their week of rest and rehabilitation and we expect them to be fit and available for the final,” added Stead.
“Playing in a World Cup Final is a really special occasion and I know the guys are looking forward to getting into their work here in Southampton. India are a world-class outfit who possess match winners all through their line-up, so we’re under no illusion about how tough they will be to beat,” said Stead further.
NZ squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Will Young.