New Zealand announced their 15-member squad for the World Test Championship final against India on Tuesday, scheduled to be held from 18th to 22nd June 2021. Skipper Kane Williamson and BJ Watling have returned to the fold. The duo missed out in the second Test against England due to elbow and back injuries respectively. Their inclusion in the side means the Blackcaps are going to face India with a full-strength unit.
“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,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.
“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,” he added. As many as 5 members, who were part of New Zealand’s squad for the Test against England, have missed out, namely Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra and Mitchell Santner.
“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", said the NZ Head Coach.
After recovering from a long-standing injury, Colin de Grandhomme made his way into the Test series in the recently concluded series against England. He is also likely to feature in the playing XI against India in the WTC final.
For the summit clash, New Zealand have gone with Ajaz Patel as their specialist spinner. The pace battery includes the likes of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry. Besides, two fast-bowling all-rounders have been named in the squad, such as Kyle Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme.
Kane Williamson will lead the unit, while BJ Watling will don the wicket-keeping gloves. Tom Latham and Devon Conway are likely to open the batting, while the likes of Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls will form the middle-order.
New Zealand Squad for WTC Final
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young
India squad for WTC Final
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.
Mayank Agrawal and Shardul Thakur found missing from the 15-member squad announced by BCCI. This indicates that Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will open for India. Also, there is a high probability of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja making it to the playing eleven.