After defeating England at their fortress Edgbaston, New Zealand have clinched the two-match Test series 1-0 and are now on the way to Southampton for the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) Final. On the other hand, Team India is currently in Southampton and have already started practicing for the showpiece event.
The Virat Kohli-led team India has started training at the stadium and has been playing a four-day intra-squad match simulation at a ground next to the Hampshire bowl.
On June 15, the Blackcaps announced a reduced 15-member squad for the final against India. Spinner Ajaz Patel has been selected ahead of Mitchell Santner, after his four wickets in the second Test against England. While Will Young and Tom Blundell have retained their places, Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra have been left out of the squad.
Speaking on the team selection, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said that Ajaz Patel can be a huge asset to the team in the final. “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,” said Stead.
Also, Kane Williamson and BJ Watling who were rested as a precaution in the second Test against England, have recovered well and will play the WTC Final. “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,” he added.
New Zealand Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell (wk), 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 (wk), Will Young