New Zealand have announced their playing XI for the boxing day Test. On Wednesday (December 25), captain Kane Williamson confirmed Trent Boult‘s inclusion. He said that their key placer will play in the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The left-arm pacer has recovered from his rib injury which he had picked up last month. He missed the first Test against Australia in Perth, where they faced a loss of 296 runs. New Zealand have also made another change to the line-up. Tom Blundell, the wicketkeeper-batsman, will replace the out of form, Jeet Raval. Blundell has played two Tests earlier and also impressed everyone with an unbeaten half-century in the warm-up game against Victoria state XI.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity. I guess there’s a sense of romance about being involved in the Boxing Day test the guys have all grown up watching whoever’s been involved so it’s quite cool to be part of it,” Williamson was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz. “At the same time, it’s about removing a little bit of that and bringing the focus back to the cricket and making those improvements we need to.”
“When you pick a squad of 15, you are trying to pick a balance. And you never quite foresee some of the changes that you are going to have to make but you’re trying to put into the mix potential outcomes and someone like Tom has been a very good player for a very long time and has a mature head, not in terms of the amount of international cricket but he’s played a lot of white-ball and red-ball cricket domestically,” Kane Williamson said of Blundell
He’s batted right throughout the order there and it’s an exciting opportunity for him to come at the top of the order,” he added.
New Zealand XI: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.