New Zealand have announced their 15 man squad to face India in the maiden ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, which begins on Friday in Southampton.
Five players were removed from the original 20-man team for the two-match series against England. Including Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, and Mitchell Santner.
Colin de Grandhomme fills in as the only allrounder.
Will Young as the batting cover, and Tom Blundell, who replaced injured BJ Watling, as his back-up.
Meanwhile, as a specialist spinner, New Zealand has chosen Ajaz Patel over Mitchell Santner.
New Zealand Coach Gary Stead’s statement
“It’s not easy to say goodbye to guys who have given so much to the group,”
“We’ve gone with Ajaz as our specialist spinner after an impressive outing at Edgbaston and we believe he could be a factor at the Ageas Bowl,” Stead.
“Colin’s been an integral member of our Test set-up for many years and it was great to see him return at Lord’s after a long injury lay-off. He’s a proven performer at the top level and we back him to do a job with the bat or the ball if called upon,” he added.
New Zealand won despite the absence of captain Kane Williamson and retired Watling. But Stead said the two have recovered well and should be available for Friday’s final.
“Kane and BJ have certainly benefited from their week of rest and rehabilitation and we expect them to be fit and available for the final,” Stead said.
Despite their success against England, Stead believes they are not favourites to win the WTC final against a world-class India.
“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,” Stead said.
New Zealand’s 15-man Squad
Kane Williamson (c), 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, Will Young