NZ vs PAK: Mitchell Santner Picked In New Zealand Squad For Pakistan Tests, Williamson Returns
New Zealand left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner has been picked in the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand side for the two-Test series against Pakistan that begins in Mount Maunganui from December 26.
Following consecutive 2-0 series wins over the West Indies this month and India earlier this year, Kane Williamson's men sit just behind India in third position on the WTC points table.
A series sweep against Pakistan and a heavy defeat for India in Australia would see New Zealand well placed to return to Lord's in London for another ICC final. The Kiwis had played the 50-over World Cup final in 2019 and had lost to England.
"It doesn't get much bigger than a Boxing Day Test on your home ground," said Neil Wagner, the world's third-ranked Test bowler, who is also part of the squad.
Wagner's short deliveries had undone Steve Smith during a Test series this year in Australia.
"The Test team have played some really good cricket of late and to have an opportunity to push for a World Test Championship Final is truly exciting," said Wagner.
Captain Kane Williamson returns to the side after missing the second Test against West Indies in Wellington to be with his wife Sarah ahead of the birth of their first child.
His inclusion means Devon Conway drops out of the squad with Will Young continuing as the batting cover.
Test squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wicket-keeper), Will Young