WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has been rewarded for his success in white ball cricket with a maiden call-up to the test squad for matches against England and Australia, the country’s board (NZC) said on Friday.
Ferguson finished as the second highest wicket-taker at the 50-overs World Cup in England where New Zealand lost a nail-biting final in a super over to the hosts.
The 28-year-old has played 36 one-day internationals and eight Twenty20 matches for the Black Caps while he has also shown strong domestic form with 153 wickets from 42 first-class games at an average of 24.30.
“There’s no doubt Lockie has been knocking on the door for a while now and we’re delighted to finally bring him into the Test fold,” selector Gavin Larsen said in a NZC statement.
“It’s well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proved his durability.
“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.”
Batting mainstay Kane Williamson will lead the side after missing the recently concluded T20 international series against England with a hip injury.
Leg-spinner Todd Astle was the only other change to the squad from that which drew a two-test series 1-1 in Sri Lanka in August, with spinners Will Somerville and Ajaz Patel left out.
After hosting England for a two-test series, starting on Nov. 21 at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand travel to Australia to play three tests.
Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), 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
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford)