New Zealand vs England 2019: New Zealand announce playing XI for first Test
What's the story?
The hosts New Zealand have announced their playing XI for the first Test against England. The biggest name missing from the team is Lockie Ferguson as captain Kane Williamson has stuck with the tried and tested trio of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner.
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In the build-up to the first Test of the series between New Zealand and England, Kiwi coach Gary Stead had expressed confidence in his stellar fast bowling unit, besides mentioning that they have the right-arm pacer Ferguson in their side to counter England's dangerous fast bowler Jofra Archer. The fans expected him to make his much-awaited Test debut versus England however, the team management has extended the wait.
The heart of the matter
Addressing the media ahead of the opening Test, Kane Williamson disclosed the reasons behind the exclusion of Ferguson from the match squad. The Blackcaps skipper said:
“You always consider those options and, as we know, he’s (Lockie Ferguson) an extremely exciting talent but he’ll be released to go and play a bit more cricket then join back up with us in Hamilton. It’s great to have so many guys in the environment who are raring to go and offer different things.The three we’ve gone with are guys that have been in the group for a long period of time and performed really well for us.”
New Zealand's playing XI for the first Test
Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
The home team has opted to include only one spinner in Mitchell Santner in their playing XI while the leg spinner Todd Astle has been released to take part in domestic cricket. Along with Astle, the team management has also allowed Tom Blundell to play in the domestic circuit.
The first Test between New Zealand and England will begin tomorrow at 3:30 AM IST.