In what can be encouraging news for the cricket community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, all members of New Zealand‘s Test squad still currently at home were given their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of their tour to England.
The squad was granted early access to the national vaccination program citing the “reasons of national significance” which will also cover New Zealand’s Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes. The four New Zealand Test players at the IPL – Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson – and also Will Young, who is with Durham, left before the process started.
New Zealand is due to play two Tests against England and then will face India in the final of the ICC World Test Championship at Southampton from June 18 onwards.
Since I’ve Had The Surgery The Ankle Has Felt Real Good: New Zealand’s Colin De Grandhomme
All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme was out of action for quite some time due to his ankle problems and did not feature at all for New Zealand during the season and though he played domestically primarily as a batter. He underwent surgery and has now returned to training for tour pre-camps.
“Since I’ve had the surgery the ankle has felt real good and it seems to keep getting better and it feels normal again for a change. Looks like I’m tracking well at the moment and should be ready to go for ball one if I’m needed,” de Grandhomme said.
The all-rounder boasts of impressive stats in Test cricket – averaging 37.03 with the bat and 31.63 with the ball in 24 matches. Though the Black Caps managed to find replacements for De Grandhomme in Daryl Mitchell, who scored a century against Pakistan in Tests, and Mitchell Santner.
This also means that De Grandhomme might not even be a certainty in New Zealand playing XI if New Zealand will also need to consider if they want a spin-bowling option. But De Grandhomme’s bowling is much more effective than Mitchell’s at Test level.
Neil Wagner was training alongside de Grandhomme in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday ahead of the official camps where they can make use of a marquee to continuing training on the grass with his focus on getting used to the Duke balls used in England.
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