Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner axed as Black Caps name Test squad to face India

The Black Caps have axed spinner Mitchell Santner and opener Jeet Raval from the Test squad for the upcoming series against India after their lacklustre performances against Australia.

Jeet Raval Source: Photosport

The squad for the upcoming two-Test series against India was announced this morning with two-metre tall paceman Kyle Jamieson earning a place among the 13 named after an impressive ODI debut earlier this month. Spinner Ajaz Patel has also been called up.

The call-ups come at the expense of Santner and Raval, along with seamer Henry, with the trio left out after being part of the Black Caps' 3-0 Test series loss to Australia.

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Mitchell Santner is hoping for a return to form with the white ball in the T20 series against India after a devastating Test tour of Australia in December. Source: 1 NEWS

Santner struggled significantly on the Australian pitches, taking just one wicket for 250 runs across four innings, before he was dropped for the third Test.

Raval also failed to fire across the Tasman, scoring 45 runs across his four innings in the series. Those tough figures came after the opener averaged just 9.1 runs in his previous seven Test innings in 2019 before facing the Aussies.

Coach Gary Stead, back from the break he took during the Black Caps' 3-0 ODI series win over India, said the selections were tough.

“With a squad of 13 we’ve put a priority on balance and making sure we have the needed variety and different options depending on the pitch conditions at the Basin Reserve,” Stead said.

One positive selection he was happy to make was the return of Trent Boult who has recovered from the broken right hand he suffered in the Boxing Day Test.

“It’s terrific to have Trent back with us and we’re looking forward to the energy and experience he adds to the group alongside his obvious class with the ball in hand."

The Black Caps assemble in Wellington tomorrow ahead of the first Test at the Basin Reserve this Friday.

Full squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling