New Zealand announce initial 12-man squad for Tests vs West Indies

There’s a familiar look to the BLACKCAPS initial squad of 12 that will meet the West Indies in the opening Test of the home summer, though one player is still to be added. That addition will be confirmed following a three-day warm-up match between New Zealand A and the Caribbean side beginning 25 November. A pace trio of Lockie Ferguson, Adam Milne and Scott Kuggeleijn will make up the New Zealand A bowling attack, in what will be one of the fastest the country has ever produced. While still named in the squad, the availability of wicketkeeper BJ Watling for the BLACKCAPS Test on 1 December is in question due to a hip injury. Watling will be monitored and evaluated over the coming week. All BLACKCAPS players will be available to play in the fourth round of the Plunket Shield beginning today. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs West Indies 2017-18, 1st Test at Wellington

BLACKCAPS (one to be added)

Kane Williamson (c) – Northern Districts
Trent Boult – Northern Districts
Colin de Grandhomme – Auckland Aces
Matt Henry – Canterbury
Tom Latham -  Canterbury
Henry Nicholls – Canterbury
Jeet Raval – Auckland Aces
Mitchell Santner – Northern Districts
Tim Southee – Northern Districts
Ross Taylor – Central Stags
Neil Wagner – Otago Volts
BJ Watling* – Northern Districts

New Zealand A

Martin Guptill (c) – Auckland Aces
Todd Astle – Canterbury
Tom Blundell – Wellington Firebirds
Neil Broom – Northern Districts
Tom Bruce – Central Stags
Lockie Ferguson – Auckland Aces
Scott Kuggeleijn – Northern Districts
Adam Milne – Central Stags
Colin Munro – Auckland Aces
Jeet Raval – Auckland Aces
George Worker – Central Stags

Not considered due to injury – Seth Rance, Dean Brownlie

BLACKCAPS Selector Gavin Larsen said the BLACKCAPS Test squad had a settled look to it. “Aside from a question mark over BJ, we have a fully fit squad who have all shown they have what it takes to perform at Test level,” said Larsen. “We want to hit the ground running for that first match at the Basin Reserve. It’s a special place to play cricket and we’re determined to start the summer on a positive note.”

Larsen said the New Zealand A side was full of talent and excitement. “While the BLACKCAPS squad doesn’t have too may surprises, this NZ A team certainly shows that we have depth and quality players who are pushing for higher honours. Watching the three quickest bowlers in NZ operating together will certainly be exciting, and all three have plenty to play for. We are looking to develop Martin’s leadership capabilities and the NZ A match is another good opportunity.” The BLACKCAPS come into camp in Wellington on 28 December.