New Zealand recently won a thriller against England by one run and etched their name into the history books. After being enforced to follow on, the Kiwi side made a strong comeback and defeated the English team in the second Test to level the series 1-1. Now they have announced the same 13 players in their squad for the Sri Lanka challenge as well. However, Ish Sodi, Kyle Jamieson, and uncapped seamer Jacob Duffy didn’t find a place in the team.
Notably, Jamieson was left-out by the New Zealand Cricket Board (NZCB) as he sustained an injury and is expected to undergo back surgery.
This two-match Test series is a part of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023, and the hopes of Sri Lanka to qualify for the summit clash of the event depends on it. The Islanders need to win both games to stay alive in the race for the WTC 2023 final. Meanwhile, the defending champions New Zealand, are already out of the equation from the ultimate championship battle.
India’s defeat in the third Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2023 against Australia in Indore has furthermore increased the chances of Sri Lanka to sail to the final of the WTC, and hence they will look for a clean sweep against New Zealand.
On the other hand, Tim Southee-led side would see it as an opportunity to prepare for the next WTC edition and reflect on their shortcomings. The first match of the two Tests begins from March 9 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Before the commencement of the series, a two-day warm-up match will also be played between the two sides at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln on March 4 and 5.
New Zealand’s squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson, Will Young.