New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has announced the 13-man national squad for the first Test of two-match Test series against England. While the senior batsman Ross Taylor is getting fit for the upcoming Test, Martin Guptill added in the squad.
The first Test of the series will begin on this Thursday at Eden Park (Auckland) which will be also the first day/night Test match on the New Zealand soil. However, New Zealand has already played one day/night Test and that was the first ever day/night Test match. Playing against Australia in that match at Adelaide, New Zealand fought very well but lost by 3 wickets.
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On the other hand, England has played two day/night Test matches. Their first Test was against West Indies at Birmingham where England won by an innings and 209 runs. Recently, England played their second day/night Test in the Ashes against Australia at Adelaide where Australia won by 120 runs.
Coming back to the New Zealand squad, Mitchell Santner will be missed for the next six to nine months due to the knee injury. Todd Astle replaced Santner for the upcoming day/night Test. Apart from that, wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, Lockie Ferguson and George Worker are missed out from the new squad who were in the previous Test squad during Windies tour of New Zealand in last December.
Also, Martin Guptill added in the squad for the day/night Test. 31-years old Guptill has played his last Test in October 2016 against India at Indore. Recently, during England’s second two-day tour match, Guptill played an important 73 runs knock for New Zealand XI.
Speaking about the squad, New Zealand cricket selector Gavin Larsen said, “We opted for extra batting cover for that final spot and with Martin having been playing in the middle-order recently, he can cover a number of positions for us.”
Meanwhile, Larsen also said that Ross Taylor is progressing nicely. He said on that, “Ross is progressing nicely and is expected to take a full part in training tomorrow. The team are looking forward to what will be a special match beginning on Thursday.”
New Zealand’s 13-man squad for the first Test of the two-match Test series against England: Kane Williamson (c), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill.