On Thursday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced the 13-man squad for the upcoming home Test series against Bangladesh, starting in Mount Maunganui on New Year’s Day.
Regular skipper Kane Williamson is not in the squad after being ruled out due to his elbow injury. In his absence, opener Tom Latham will lead the side.
Left-handed batter Devon Conway has made his return to the squad after spending a few weeks on the sidelines due to a hand injury sustained in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England in November. Apart from Conway, the pace duo of Trent Boult and Matt Henry have also made a comeback in the whites after being rested for the Test series in India.
However, there’s no place in the 13-man outfit for the specialist spinner Ajaz Patel, who had taken a 10-wicket haul in an innings in his last outing in Mumbai. Patel took all 10 wickets during India’s first innings of the second test in Mumbai and finished with match figures of 14-225.
Sharing his thoughts on the shocker, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said they have gone for the horses-for-courses selection policy, and hence Patel wasn’t picked in the squad.
“You do feel for Ajaz after his record-breaking display in India. However, we’ve always applied a horses-for-courses selection policy and believe the players selected best fit the way we want to take on Bangladesh here at home,” said Stead as quoted by Stuff.
“I think if you look at the reality of spin bowlers in New Zealand in the last four or five years, there hasn’t been a lot of them taking truckloads of wickets. And that’s not necessarily the spinners’ fault, but shows the strength of where we’re at with our pace bowling unit at the moment,” he added.
Here is New Zealand’s squad for the home Tests against Bangladesh:
Tom Latham (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Will Young