Fast-bowling allrounder Kyle Jamieson makes a comeback to New Zealand’s squad for the two-Test series against England at home in February. It is the first time Jamieson has been selected since he injured his back on the tour of England in June last year.
Jamieson returned to New Zealand’s domestic cricket circuit only in January this year, and at the time of his selection in the Test squad, he had played two matches each in the Ford Trophy and Super Smash for Auckland.
“Kyle is a very determined character with a strong desire to play international cricket for New Zealand,” head coach Gary 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.”
Legspinner Ish Sodhi also kept his place in the 14-man squad after impressive returns in the two-match series in Pakistan in December-January, which was his first Test series since 2018. Sodhi took 13 wickets in the two matches, and also scored a half-century.
“Ish really impressed us with his approach with bat and ball,” Stead said. “He’s worked very hard on both in recent years and it was great to see that on the international Test stage.”
Offspinning-allrounder Michael Bracewell is the second spin option in the squad, while left-armer Ajaz Patel and batter Glenn Phillips were the omissions from the group that travelled to Pakistan. Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and fast bowler Matt Henry are expected to recover from injuries sustained in Pakistan by the time the squad assembles in Tauranga on February 12.
The first Test against England from February 16 to 20 will be a day-night contest at the Bay Oval, after which the teams will travel to Wellington for the second Test at the Basin Reserve from February 24-28.
The series will be Tim Southee‘s first as full-time Test captain on home soil. He took over from Kane Williamson just before the tour of Pakistan. Trent Boult, who had given up his central contract, was not selected, though New Zealand’s selection manager Gavin Larsen hoped the left-arm quick would play the ODI World Cup in India in October-November.