Lockie Ferguson called up to New Zealand Test squad

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New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has received his maiden Test call-up after being included in the Black Caps’ 15-man squad for their upcoming series against England and Australia.

Ferguson has been a regular fixture in New Zealand’s limited-overs sides in recent times and played a key role in the 50-over team’s run to the final of the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, taking 21 wickets. 

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The 28-year-old holds an impressive first-class record, having taken 153 wickets from 42 matches at an average of 24.30, and selector Gavin Larsen believes the paceman “has been knocking on the door for a while now”.

“It’s well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proved his durability,” Larsen said.

“He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series and backed that up with a solid outing for the Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield, where he claimed four for 23 against the Wellington Firebirds.

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“Our pace bowling stocks are strong at the moment and we feel Lockie will add another dimension to the picture, and will create some great competition.”

Kane Williamson is fit to lead the side after having missed the recent T20I series against England due to a hip injury.

Leg-spinner Todd Astle has been included in the squad, with his and Ferguson’s inclusion marking the two changes from the squad that featured in New Zealand’s last Test assignment: the 1-1 draw away to Sri Lanka. Finger-spinners Will Somerville and Ajaz Patel are the two players to have been omitted.

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The first Test between New Zealand gets underway on November 21 Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling