New Zealand turn to spin as squad named for Test series in Bangladesh
New Zealand have selected a spin-heavy squad and recalled the hero of their World Test Championship 2021 final victory for the two-Test series in Bangladesh starting later this month.
Santner joins Ajaz Patel and Ish Sodhi as the front-line tweakers named in the squad with spin-friendly conditions expected in Bangladesh.
The left-arm orthodox spinner is currently New Zealand’s most damaging bowler at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 with 14 wickets, but Santner played the last of his 24 Tests in 2021.
“We’ve selected a squad we think can compete and succeed in Bangladesh,” New Zealand selector Sam Wells said.
“With Ajaz, Ish, Mitch, Glenn (Phillips) 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 (domestic) 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 all-rounder.”
The spin options are further boosted by off-spinning all-rounders Ravindra and Phillips who return to the Test squad off the back of impressive performances at the Cricket World Cup in India.
Ravindra, who has amassed three centuries as one of the breakout stars at the Cricket World Cup, is in line to play his first Test since facing Bangladesh at Bay Oval in January 2022.
White-ball dynamo Phillips has only played one Test for New Zealand against Australia at the SCG in 2020, but was included in the touring Test squad in Pakistan last December.
“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,” Wells said.
New Zealand have also recalled Jamieson to the Test squad after the pacer recovered from back surgery in February
Jamieson will join captain Tim Southee and Matt Henry in a three-player pace attack.
The 28-year-old has captured 72 wickets at an average of 19.45 in just 16 Tests, becoming the fastest New Zealander to reach 50 Test wickets when he hit the mark in nine matches.
Jamieson was named Player of the Match in the ICC World Test Championship final in 2021 as New Zealand clinched the inaugural WTC mace, and has been called in to replace the injured Henry in the current Cricket World Cup squad.
Henry has been ruled out of the rest of the Cricket World Cup but will remain in India to rehabilitate the right hamstring injury he sustained last week.
Trent Boult was not considered for selection after making himself unavailable for the tour of Bangladesh, while all-rounder Michael Bracewell is continuing his recovery from a ruptured Achilles.
The two-Test series marks the start of the third cycle of the ICC World Test Championship for New Zealand and Bangladesh.
The tour will be the first time Bangladesh have hosted New Zealand in Tests since 2013, when the two-match series was drawn 0-0.
New Zealand squad
Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell, 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
New Zealand tour of Bangladesh schedule
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