New Zealand has picked Central Stags left-arm spinner, Ajaz Patel for the Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates later this year.
Meanwhile, Patel has been consistent over the years, returning as the highest wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield in the last three seasons. Furthermore, he was also the Domestic Player of the Year last season.
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The 29-year-old, Ajaz Patel bagged 48 wickets from nine games to guide Stags to the title. With Mitchell Santner still recovering from his injury, Patel is likely to make his debut on spin-friendly pitches.
Kiwi selector, Gavin Larsen cited Patel’s massive domestic performance behind his selection. He also admitted it is nice to have two wrist spinners in spinning conditions.
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“Ajaz has deserved his inclusion on the sheer weight of his domestic first-class form over the past couple of summers,” Larsen said. “With Mitch Santner not fully recovered yet from his knee surgery, it’s nice to have both wrist (Astle and Sodhi) and finger (Patel) spin options, given the likely conditions in the UAE,” he added.
Tom Blundell too found a spot in the 15-man squad, as the backup wicketkeeper for BJ Watling. Moreover, Watling also returned to the ODI squad, playing his last game in December 2016.
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While 13 members have been named, the two remaining players will join from New Zealand A in UAE. The same will be the case with the T20 squad.
The young guns will have an opportunity to push their case for the senior ODI team. Moreover, the selectors have decided to rest Trent Boult for the T20I series. Tim Seifert, Mark Chapman and Lockie Ferguson will also feature for New Zealand A ahead of the T20I series.
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New Zealand will play three Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is during the tour.
Test: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Jeet Raval, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling
ODI: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, two players to be added from NZA/BC T20 Squads.
T20I: Kane Williamson (c), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, two players to join from NZ A.