Rachin Ravindra, Jacob Duffy named in New Zealand squad for England Tests and WTC Final

Uncapped all-rounder Rachin Ravindra and fast bowler Jacob Duffy have received maiden Test call-ups to the New Zealand side for the upcoming two-match Test series in England. Devon Conway was also handed a maiden Test call-up for the upcoming Test tour of England in June.

On Wednesday, April 7, New Zealand announced a 20-member squad for the Test series against England starting with the first Test on June 2 at Lord’s followed by the final on June 10 in Birmingham.

New Zealand will pick 15 players from this 20-member squad for the ICC World Test Championship Final against India to be played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton from June 18.

While Doug Bracewell, who last played a Test in 2016, and Ajaz Patel have been recalled to the New Zealand Test side for the upcoming Tests against England, Lockie Ferguson was not considered for selection as he is recovering from a partial-stress fracture in his back.

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Notably, New Zealand’s IPL-bound players Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, and Kyle Jamieson will be managed “on a case by case basis depending on when their team exits the IPL 2021″ for the upcoming Test series against England.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said: “We’re absolutely delighted for Rachin and Jacob. I’ve seen first-hand how hard these guys have worked in our NZC winter training squads and with New Zealand A, and so for them to earn their maiden Test call-ups for such a special tour will be really satisfying.”

The left-handed Ravindra scored two centuries for New Zealand A against the West Indians in November 2020 as well as hit his maiden First-class century against Northern Districts in the Plunket Shield in March 2021 despite returning from a dislocated shoulder and even picked a couple of three-fers for the Wellington Firebirds in the very next game against Auckland.

Stead further said of the all-rounder, “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. 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 makes him a great asset to our squad.”

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Meanwhile, Jacob had already made his international debut for New Zealand and even had a fantastic start to his career with a Player of the Match performance in a T20I against Pakistan in 2020. The 26-year-old pacer ended up as the joint fifth-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets in 9 innings in this season’s Plunket Shield.

The Kiwi coach said: “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 signed off by saying, “Bracewell returns on the back of a decent Plunket Shield performance where the 30-year-old picked 15 wickets at an impressive average of 26.20. Doug’s a match-winner and we’re confident he’ll enjoy bowling on English pitches in June.”

Noteworthy, Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, and Ross Taylor will have to pass a fitness test before leaving for the United Kingdom for the two-match Test series.

New Zealand’s Test Squad vs England:

Kane Williamson (c), 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

(With Cricbuzz Inputs)

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