The BLACKCAPS have confirmed their 15-man squad to contest the inaugural ICC World Test Championship Final against India, at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18-22.
Ajaz Patel has been selected as the specialist spinner, with Colin de Grandhomme the all-rounder and Will Young the specialist batting cover, while Tom Blundell is the back-up wicket-keeper.
Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra and Mitchell Santner are the five players who will drop out from the original 20-player touring squad for the England Test series.
Coach Gary Stead noted the contributions of the departing group and thanked them for their efforts over the past month.
“It’s not easy to say goodbye to guys who have given so much to the group.
“Doug, Jacob and Rachin have been selfless in their attitude to helping the team and supporting those in the playing XI.
“I’d also like to highlight our fourth coach Heinrich Malan who has done a great job behind the scenes working with the players, in particular those who were not selected in the playing XIs to face England. That work was on show for all to see in the second Test with the six players coming in and performing so well.
“With our squad being reduced, Heinrich and our second physio Vijay Vallabh will return home to New Zealand on June 16, along with Jacob, Rachin and Mitchell. We wish them well and thank them for their efforts.”
Commenting on the squad selections, Stead said.
“There’s had to be some tough calls with Mitchell and Daryl victims of the fierce competition we currently have for places in the Test side.
“We’ve gone with Ajaz as our specialist spinner after an impressive outing at Edgbaston and we believe he could be a factor at the Ageas Bowl.
“Colin’s been an integral member of our Test set-up for many years and it was great to see him return at Lord’s after a long injury lay-off. He’s a proven performer at the top level and we back him to do a job with the bat or the ball if called upon.
“Kane and BJ have certainly benefitted from their week of rest and rehabilitation and we expect them to be fit and available for the final.
“Playing in a World Cup Final is a really special occasion and I know the guys are looking forward to getting into their work here in Southampton.
“India are a world class outfit who possess match winners all through their line-up, so we’re under no illusion about how tough they will be to beat.”
BLACKCAPS Test squad
Kane Williamson (c)
Colin de Grandhomme
Daryl Mitchell (Middlesex) and Doug Bracewell (Nottinghamshire) will remain in England to play in the Vitality T20 Blast.