Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Black Caps pick spin-heavy attack for World Test Championship foray against Islanders

New Zealand coach Gary Stead named four spinners in his 15-man squad for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka that will mark both teams' debut in the new world championship that runs through to 2021.

Agence France-Presse, Jul 29, 2019 09:25:19 IST

Wellington: New Zealand unveiled a spin-heavy attack Monday for the opening round of their World Test Championship campaign against Sri Lanka next month.

Coach Gary Stead named four spinners in his 15-man squad for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka that will mark both teams' debut in the new world championship that runs through to 2021.

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Black Caps pick spin-heavy attack for World Test Championship foray against Islanders

Ajaz Patel is among the four spinners picked by New Zealand. AFP

Stead said the Sri Lankan wickets were expected to turn and he was adopting a "horses-for-courses" strategy in selecting Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville, Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle.

"Playing three spinners is an option in Sri Lankan conditions and we believe this group provides the best variations and skill mix on offer," he said.

The reliance on spin means quicks Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson miss out, with Stead opting for Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme.

The long-awaited Test championship will see nine nations vying for points in home and away series in a bid to reach a deciding match at Lord's in June 2021.

New Zealand will play 14 Tests against six nations as part of the competition.

Stead said the Black Caps were ready for a new challenge after their dramatic defeat in the ODI World Cup final, when the scores were tied after regular play and a super over, but England won because they scored more boundaries.

"It's good timing for us after the World Cup," he said.

"It was an incredible time for the team and the country, but we're now excited to move forward as a group and sink our teeth into another opportunity."

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Will Somerville, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.

Updated Date: Jul 29, 2019 09:25:19 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4056 254