NZC: Spin heavy Test squad set for Bangladesh | Oram and Flynn to assist Ronchi

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Photo Credit: New Zealand Cricket

A spin-heavy BLACKCAPS Test squad featuring the return of Kyle Jamieson, Rachin Ravindra and Mitchell Santner has been selected for a two-Test series in Bangladesh starting later this month.

The series marks the start of the third cycle of the ICC World Test Championship for the BLACKCAPS and will feature a coaching team led by Luke Ronchi, as regular head coach as Gary Stead heads home following the ICC Cricket World Cup in India to prepare for a busy home summer.

Ronchi’s assistants in Bangladesh will be bowling coaches Jacob Oram (pace) and Saqlain Mushtaq (spin), along with Daniel Flynn, who joins the side for the first time as batting coach.

With spin friendly conditions expected in Bangladesh, the squad has been selected accordingly.

Santner returns to the side having played the last of his 24 Tests in 2021 against England at Lord’s, and joins Ajaz Patel and Ish Sodhi as the front-line spinners.

Santner’s selection follows his most successful Plunket Shield season for Northern Districts in 2022/23 where the 31-year-old claimed 15 wickets at 26 and averaged 52 with the bat.

The spin options are further boosted by off-spinning all-rounders Rachin Ravindra and Glenn Phillips who return to the Test squad off the back of impressive performances at the ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

Ravindra, who has notched three centuries at the World Cup, returns for his first assignment in whites since the first Test against Bangladesh at Bay Oval in January 2022, while Phillips is included in the touring Test squad once again after travelling to Pakistan in December/January.

Kyle Jamieson also makes a welcome return to the Test squad after undergoing back-surgery in February, joining captain Tim Southee and Matt Henry in a three-man pace attack.

The 28-year-old pace-bowler has captured 72 wickets at 19 in just 16 Tests, becoming the fastest New Zealander to reach 50 Test wickets (in nine Tests) and was named Player of the Match in the successful ICC World Test Championship in 2021.

Henry has remained in India with the BLACKCAPS to rehabilitate the right hamstring injury he sustained last week which ruled him out of the ODI World Cup.

BLACKCAPS selector Sam Wells said the squad was picked very much with the touring conditions in mind.

“We’ve selected a squad we think can compete and succeed in Bangladesh,” said Wells.

“With Ajaz, Ish, Mitch, Glenn and Rachin, we have a strong spin group that will offer good variety and options during the series.

“Mitch had a strong back half of the Plunket Shield campaign last summer and has made good strides in his red-ball bowling.

“He brings a wealth of experience in sub-continent conditions and adds depth to the batting line-up as a genuine allrounder.

“Rachin brings a left-arm orthodox option and has improved considerably over the past 18 months with the ball – and his performances with the bat at the World Cup speak for themselves.

“It’s great to be able to call upon the services of Kyle again after a period out of the team and he will bring a different dimension to the pace group.”

Wells said the beginning of a new World Test Championship cycle was an exciting time for the side.

“The BLACKCAPS have a proud history in the WTC having won the first edition,” he said.

“It’s a tournament the team and our fans care deeply about.

“We’ve seen in previous editions how important any points away from home can be and the squad know they have a big challenge ahead in foreign conditions.”

Wellington Firebirds allrounder Michael Bracewell was unavailable for selection as he continues his recovery from a ruptured achilles.

Trent Boult was not considered for selection after making himself unavailable for the tour.

BLACKCAPS Test squad v Bangladesh

Tim Southee (c)
Tom Blundell (wk)
Devon Conway
Matt Henry
Kyle Jamieson
Tom Latham
Daryl Mitchell
Henry Nicholls
Ajaz Patel
Glenn Phillips
Rachin Ravindra
Mitchell Santner
Ish Sodhi
Kane Williamson
Will Young

Only two players from the squad (Kane Williamson and Ish Sodhi) featured last time Bangladesh hosted the BLACKCAPS in a Test series in 2013. The two-match series was drawn 0-0.

While it’s the first time with the team in a coaching capacity for Flynn, Oram was with the side as bowling coach on the COVID-19-interrupted Chappell Hadlee series in Australia in 2020, while Mushtaq assisted on the recent white-ball tour of Pakistan in April.

The BLACKCAPS will utilise part-time assistant coaches during the home summer and will look to appoint a full-time bowling coach after the ICC T20 World Cup in June.

The New Zealand based BLACKCAPS will depart for Bangladesh on November 21.

Bangladesh v BLACKCAPS Test series
Two-day warm-up match – 23-24 November – Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet
1st Test – 28 November – 2 December – Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet
2nd Test – 6-10 December – Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka

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