Williamson, Boult skip T20s as NZ focus on Test Championship

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson and Trent Boult will skip New Zealand's Twenty20 series against West Indies to ensure they are raring to go for next month's Test series against the Caribbean islanders, Black Caps coach Gary Stead said in naming his squads on Tuesday.

New Zealand are currently fourth in the World Test Championship and need to beat West Indies in the two-Test series in December to press their claim for a spot in the final at Lord's next year.

Captain Williamson and strike bowler Boult will therefore miss November's three limited overs matches, while pacemen Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson along with batsman Ross Taylor will play in only the first two Twenty20s.

"We've had to make a decision on Kane and Trent to prioritise the Test matches, given how important they are to our red-ball team and the fact they both played such big roles in the recent IPL while also managing injuries," Stead said after announcing the squads.

"There's no secret we're right in the hunt for the World Test Championship final following our two-nil win over India and having Trent and Kane fully fit and focussed for the upcoming series will be crucial."

South African-born top order batsman Devon Conway was included in the Twenty20 squad, his first international call-up since becoming eligible to represent New Zealand.

All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme and spinner Ajaz Patel were named in the Test squad despite carrying foot and calf injuries, respectively.

"It's too early at this stage to definitively say what their chances are but we’re hopeful the next two weeks will make that clearer," Stead added.

New Zealand will also host Pakistan for a two-Test series around the New Year.

Test squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young.

- Reuters



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