After enduring a crushing defeat from the hands of Australia in the Boxing Day Test, the crumbling New Zealand team is looking to bounce back by calling experienced spinner Will Somerville back into the team for the third and final match in Sydney. Somerville, who has played in Australia’s domestic league Sheffield Shield, will replace left-arm pacer Trent Boult for the game.
Boult is all set to head back home after suffering a fracture to his right hand during the second Test match in Melbourne.
The team’s head coach, Gary Stead, revealed that Somerville’s inclusion in the side is due to the spin-friendly conditions at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. Stead further stated that it is not a secret that Sydney has always helped the spinners and Somerville would surely help the team with his bowling skills.
“There is no secret that the SCG pitch is one of the more spin-friendly in Australia,” Stead said.
“Will offers something different to our two other spinners in the squad with his right-arm off-spin and height,” added Stead.
New Zealand’s head coach concluded by sharing that Somerville’s experience of playing in Australian conditions will only help the team as they prepare for the final Test. The 35-year-old cricketer from Wellington made his red-ball cricket debut against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last year. As of now, he has taken a total of 14 wickets in 3 Tests that he has played for the Black Caps.
The news of Somerville’s inclusion a few days after it was revealed that Mitchell Swepson has been brought in the Australian side for the third Test.
The Black Caps will be playing for a consolation win in the final Test as they have already lost the three-match series 2-0. The Aussies, led by Tim Paine, won the first Test by a thumping margin of 297 runs. A brilliant display by Marnus Labuschagne with bat and Mitchell Starc by ball helped the Australians wrap up the game in just 4 days.
It was a similar story in the second Test where Australia won the game by a margin of 247 runs, again wrapping up the game inside 4 days.
The third and final Test of the series will commence on January 3 in Sydney.
New Zealand (Squad) –
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Todd Astle, Jeet Raval, Matt Henry and Will Somerville.
Australia (Squad) –
David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c & wk), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Peter Siddle, and Mitchell Swepson.