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10-Dec-2018 03:00:00 GMT
Sri Lanka in New Zealand 2018-19

Somerville out, Young in: New Zealand Test squad for Sri Lanka Series

Wellington: New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel's form against Pakistan in the UAE has earned him the chance to impress in local conditions after selectors on Monday named him as the only slow bowler in the squad for two tests against Sri Lanka.

The 30-year-old produced a man-of-the-match performance on debut in their four-run win over Pakistan in the first test in Abu Dhabi last month. He also finished with 13 wickets in the series, the most by a New Zealand bowler.

Despite his impressive performances, he had been in competition with offspinner Will Somerville and legspinner Ish Sodhi for the one slow bowling position in the squad with New Zealand returning to play on pitches less conducive to turn.

Coach Gary Stead had said on the team's return home on Sunday that he would need to drop two of the spinners as they resorted to a three-pronged pace attack for the first test starting on Saturday at the Basin Reserve.

Somerville, who took seven wickets on debut in the third test victory in Abu Dhabi, and Sodhi were released to play first-class cricket.

Uncapped batsman Will Young has also been added to the squad as batting cover after strong performances in domestic cricket and for the New Zealand 'A' side.

He has scored 664 runs, including three centuries and a half century, at an average of 60.36 in 12 innings across all forms of cricket for the 'A' side in the last six weeks, including a century in their one-day clash with India 'A' on Sunday.

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Jeet Raval, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk) and Will Young.

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