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

Rachin Ravindra has been selected on the back of centuries for New Zealand A against West Indies © Getty Images

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.

Squad Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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