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Uncapped Rachin Ravindra and Jacob Duffy included in New Zealand Test squad for England tour

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Doug Bracewell, who played his last Test in 2016, has also been selected

Rachin Ravindra and Jacob Duffy join Devon Conway as the three players uncapped at Test level included in New Zealand’s 20-man squad for their tour of England, which will include the World Test Championship final against India.

Doug Bracewell, who played his last Test in 2016, has also been named and left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel returns to the frame, but fast bowler Lockie Ferguson was not considered with the selectors opting to protect him for the T20 World Cup. The squad will be trimmed to 15 for the WTC final in June following the two matches against England.

Conway’s inclusion was a formality after his prolific form in white-ball cricket this season, assuming his ability to return to New Zealand can be approved under the government’s Covid-19 border policies given he is not currently a resident.

Ravindra, the 21-year-old allrounder who plays for Wellington, has been selected on the back of centuries for New Zealand A against West Indies – both the full side and the A side – earlier this season while he also made a half-century against a Pakistan A (Shaheens) attack that included Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah.

He then returned from a dislocated shoulder which disrupted his season to score 138 against Northern Districts and claimed six wickets in the final game of the season with his left-arm spin.

“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,” New Zealand 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, the 26-year-old pace bowler from Otago, who took 4 for 33 on his T20I debut against Pakistan this season, bolsters the fast-bowling resources of the enlarged squad alongside Bracewell. Duffy took 22 wickets at 22.27 in six Plunket Shield matches and Bracewell claimed 15 in five matches while also scoring 256 runs at 42.66.

“Jacob’s been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit and his ability to swing the ball made him a particularly compelling option with a Dukes ball in English conditions,” Stead said. “Doug’s a match winner and we’re confident he’ll enjoy bowling on English pitches in June.”

Colin de Grandhomme has been included but will need to pass a fitness Test at a pre-tour camp in early May following the recent surgery on his right ankle. Bracewell (hip) and Ross Taylor (hamstring) have also ended the season will niggles.

“Colin’s injury is progressing well and we’re hopeful he will begin running again shortly,” Stead said. “We’ll monitor him closely over the next few weeks to ensure he’s on target with where he needs to be in order to be fit to tour.

“It’s been pleasing to see Ajaz back playing consistently since missing the early part of the season and he’s proven in the past what he can do if the ball is turning.”

Four members of the squad – Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner – are at the IPL and when they become available for the England series will depend on when their franchises are knocked out, meaning some of them could miss the first Test.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Eng vs NZ 2021 – New Zealand’s wholesale changes show immense strength in depth

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Unprecedented six changes also highlight WTC’s impact on international cricket

New Zealand have never previously made six changes to their side within a series and that they did so at Edgbaston and still managed to take seven wickets after being asked to bowl on a flat pitch was evidence of two things: firstly, unprecedented strength in depth within their Test squad, and secondly, the extent of the World Test Championship’s impact on international cricket.

Tom Latham, their stand-in captain, insisted in his pre-match press conference that beating England was “higher on our priority list” than the WTC final, but that he was saying it in the first place was proof of the inverse: Kane Williamson was ruled out through elbow pain here but would surely be risked against India if he suffered the same ailment next week.
Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme were all rotated out to manage their workloads ahead of the same fixture, and while BJ Watling’s stiff back and Mitchell Santner’s cut finger might well have caused them to miss out under any circumstances, the presence of ready-made replacements in Tom Blundell and Ajaz Patel and Trent Boult’s return meant only a limited drop-off in the quality of New Zealand’s side.

It has been clear for some time that the notion of teams knowing their ‘best XI’ is anachronistic in this era of international cricket but in the Covid era of enlarged squads, bubble fatigue, variety in conditions and a punishing schedule, squad depth is more relevant than ever. India proved as much during their improbable series win in Australia at the start of this year, and with New Zealand fielding 17 players across these two Tests, they are showing that the era of “Hadlee at one end, Ilford seconds at the other” is long gone.

The only time a team has used more than that in a two-match series was when Sri Lanka rested seven players after an innings-and-196-run win against a struggling Bangladesh in 2002, which led Sanath Jayasuriya to complain he had never seen some of his new side before and drew the disapproval of the government’s sports minister – though they still won the second Test by 288 runs.



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SL vs Ind 2021 – Shikhar Dhawan to captain India on limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar named vice-captain, Chetan Sakariya and Nitish Rana among new faces in the mix

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya have all received maiden call-ups to the national team, figuring in the 20-man India squad for the white-ball series in Sri Lanka, scheduled for July. The second-string squad – the main team will be in England at the time – will be captained by opening batter Shikhar Dhawan, who has never led India previously, and will also see the international comeback of fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been appointed vice-captain.
India’s Sri Lanka tour comprises six matches: three ODIs (on July 13, 16 and 18), followed by three T20Is (July 21, 23, 25). Former India captain Rahul Dravid has been confirmed as the head coach, although the BCCI did not announce the coaching staff for the side on Thursday when it announced the squad, which will have five reserve bowlers.

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-capt), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya

Net bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, R Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh

More to follow…



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County cricket 2021 – Kyle Jamieson signs for Surrey on short-term deal

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Fast bowler will head to Kia Oval at conclusion of the World Test Championship final

Kyle Jamieson, the New Zealand fast bowler, has signed a short-term deal for Surrey across formats, and will link up with the club at the conclusion of the World Test Championship final against India later this month.

Jamieson, who has been rested from the ongoing second Test against England after claiming three wickets in the opening match at Lord’s, will be available for the Vitality Blast London Derby against Middlesex at The Kia Oval on June 25, and will remain with the squad until their final group game in mid-July.

In that period, he will also be available for Surrey’s final two group games in the LV= Insurance County Championship, against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl from July 4-7 and against Somerset at The Oval from July 11-14. This will be his first time playing in English domestic cricket.

“I’m really excited to get the chance to play some county cricket after the Black Caps tour,” Jamieson said. “Originally I didn’t think this opportunity would be possible with the schedule this year, but with how things have unfolded it’s great to be able to join Surrey and experience both T20 and first-class cricket.

“Playing county cricket is something I’ve always wanted to do in my career, so to have the chance to do so now is awesome. I’ve heard a lot of great things about county cricket, particularly T20 Blast nights at The Kia Oval, and can’t wait to take up the opportunity with Surrey to continue to learn and grow whilst trying my best to contribute to the teams’ success.”



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