New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Jamieson has returned to the New Zealand squad for the Test series against England, starting February 16 at Mount Maunganui. Jamieson has not played for New Zealand since he was forced to pull out of the England tour midway due to a back injury.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who picked up 13 wickets in the series in Pakistan, retains his place, while Michael Bracewell with his off-spin provides another spin option. That means there is no place in the 14-man squad for Ajaz Patel and Glenn Phillips, who were part of the Pakistan tour.
Head coach Gary Stead reckons that Jamieson's determination is what has forced him back into national reckoning. “Kyle is a very determined character with a strong desire to play international cricket for New Zealand,” Stead said.
“Since he was forced from the field in Nottingham he’s been very clear that he wants to get his body right to return.
“He’s reported good progress since his return to professional cricket with Auckland and he will get the opportunity to play some long form cricket as part of the New Zealand XI Squad to face England in their warm-up match next week at Seddon Park.”
On Sodhi, Stead says that his show in Pakistan gave him the edge. “Ish really impressed us with his approach with bat and ball. He’s worked very hard on both in recent years and it was great to see that on the international Test stage.”
In addition, wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and pacer Matt Henry who ended the Pakistan tour with injuries are expected to be fit enough to be fully fit for the series.
The Test squad will assemble in Tauranga on February 12 ahead of the pink-ball Test at the Bay Oval, before the series concludes with the second game in Wellington.
New Zealand squad for Test series vs England: Tim Southee (c), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young