Cricket-NZ pick spin-heavy squad for India series as Boult and de Grandhomme opt out

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(Reuters) – New Zealand included five spinners in their 15-man squad on Thursday for the upcoming tour to India while fast bowler Trent Boult and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme opted out of the two-test series due to the prospect of further time in bio-bubbles.

The selectors picked the experienced spin trio of Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville and Mitchell Santner, as well as youngsters Rachin Ravindra and Glenn Phillips.

“Touring India is one of the greatest experiences in cricket… it’s fair to say we’re expecting spin-friendly conditions and it’s great to have a range of options in this department,” said head coach Gary Stead.

Stead added that Boult had already spent the best part of 60 days in managed isolation this year, while de Grandhomme had been on the road since May.

“From talking to both players it was clear the best option for them was to be left out of this Test tour and for them to instead focus on being ready for the New Zealand home summer,” he said.

The first test will be played in Kanpur from Nov. 25-29, with Mumbai to host the second match from Dec. 3-7.

The two sides contested the World Test Championship final in June, which the Kiwis won by eight wickets.

Squad:

Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Will Young, Neil Wagner

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)



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