New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Monday announced that spinner Mitchell Santner has been retained in the squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Pakistan which is scheduled to start from December 26.
Meanwhile, new Dad and captain Kane Williamson has also returned after missing the just-concluded second Test against West Indies. Daryl Mitchell has been picked as injury cover for Colin de Grandhomme who was last week ruled out of the series with a stress-reaction to his right ankle.
The inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship is nearing its end and with the final, in June 2021, closing in, New Zealand are all set to give their best in the contest. The 2-match Test series against Pakistan, starting on Boxing Day in Mount Maunganui, will round out New Zealand’s campaign in ICC World Test Championship.
Notably, New Zealand are currently 2-0 ahead in the 3-match T20I series against Pakistan.
“It doesn’t get much bigger than a Boxing Day Test on your home ground. The community has really got behind Bay Oval and to see a bumper crowd there on Boxing Day will be pretty special as a local player,” World No.3 Neil Wagner said.
“The Test team have played some really good cricket of late and to have an opportunity to push for a World Test Championship Final is truly exciting. Pakistan are a dangerous side with class players throughout their line-up – so we know we’ll have to be at the top of our game.”
The Test squad will assemble in Mount Maunganui on Wednesday ahead of the first Test starting at Bay Oval on Saturday, December 26.
New Zealand Squad For Test series against Pakistan:
Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), and Will Young.