New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson

Christchurch [New Zealand], Nov 15 : Skipper Kane Williamson has returned to New Zealand squad for the upcoming Test series against England and Australia, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Friday.

Williamson had previously missed the five-match T20I series against England due to a reoccurring right-hip injury.

“Kane’s made good progress over the past fortnight and we are delighted to welcome back a player of his class and experience,” selector Gavin Larsen said in an official statement.

“It is obviously going to be a very special Test for him and Trent Boult being such passionate locals – we know there’s already a lot of excitement in that part of the Bay of Plenty,” he added.

Pacer Lockie Ferguson has earned his maiden call-up in the Kiwis Test squad. He has cemented his place in the limited-overs team as a regular and he also finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the ICC Cricket World Cup in England.

Ferguson has managed to take 153 first-class wickets from 42 matches at an average of 24.30.

“There is no doubt Lockie has been knocking on the door for a while now and we are delighted to finally bring him into the Test fold. It is well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skillset and has proven durability to stay on the park,” Larsen said.

“He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series and backed that up with a solid outing for the Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield where he claimed 4-23 against the Wellington Firebirds,” he added.

New Zealand has dropped spinners Will Somerville and Ajaz Patel from their last series against Sri Lanka.

Leg-spinner Todd Astle has also found a place in the Test squad for the upcoming series against England and Australia.

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

New Zealand will face England first in a two-match Test series, beginning from November 21.

After that, the three-match Test series against Australia will commence from December 12.


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