NZ announce unchanged squad for Test series against Sri Lanka; to tour UAE in August

Christchurch, Mar 2 (PTI) New Zealand have named an unchanged squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka at home that recently defeated England by just one run at Wellington.

The Blackcaps had defeated the Ben Stokes-led England in a thrilling second match to level the two-Test series 1-1.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Thursday announced a 13-member squad under captain Tim Southee for the series beginning on March 9, with no surprises, although rookie seamer Jacob Duffy, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, and injured pace bowler Kyle Jamieson have been excluded.

New Zealand recently became only the fourth team in history to win a Test after being asked to follow-on at Wellington, with pace bowler Neil Wagner taking the wicket of James Anderson to signal the home team’s thrilling one-run win.

Former captain Kane Williamson will continue to be the batting mainstay along with Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell and Will Young, while Tom Blundell will keep wickets during the Sri Lanka series.

Wagner will spearhead the pace-bowling department along with Southee, Matt Henry, Blair Tickner and Scott Kuggeleijn.

While reigning World Test champions New Zealand are out of contention for a berth in the WTC final, Sri Lanka are still in with a chance and a 2-0 sweep for the Islanders could help them make it to the title round.

NZC also announced that they will play a three-match T20I series against the United Arab Emirates in August on their way to England for white-ball commitments.

It will be only the second time that New Zealand will play the UAE in a full international, following the 1996 World Cup ODI between the two sides at Faisalabad, in Pakistan.

“In terms of the global cricket family, it’s important we keep helping each other, and growing the game on an international scale. NZC has a close relationship with the Emirates Cricket Board and our players are very familiar with the environment,” said NZC chief executive David White in a statement.

The matches will be played on August, 17, 19 and 20, with the venues yet to be confirmed.

New Zealand Test squad for Sri Lanka Tests: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson and Will Young.

Source: PTI News


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