May 30, 2024

Star duo opt out of upcoming Black Caps tour over bubble fatigue – Newstalk ZB

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The Black Caps will begin the defence of their ICC World Test Championship title without the services of two of its best players, after Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme ruled themselves out of the upcoming series against India.

A 15-strong squad has be…….

The Black Caps will begin the defence of their ICC World Test Championship title without the services of two of its best players, after Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme ruled themselves out of the upcoming series against India.

A 15-strong squad has been named for the two-Test series – to be played in Kanpur from November 25-29 and Mumbai from December 3-7 – that features five spin options; including 21-year-old Rachin Ravindra who has the opportunity to make his Test debut.

However, both Boult and de Grandhomme – two of the side’s best performers over the past several years – have decided to opt out of the tour due to concerns over the amount of time that would be required to be spent in Covid quarantine facilities.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead said their decisions were completely understandable as player welfare is paramount within the side.

“Trent has already spent the best part of 60 days in hard managed isolation this year, while Colin had been on the road since May until recently returning home from Pakistan,” Stead stated in a press release.

“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.”

The loss of Boult and De Grandhomme opens up an opportunity for the likes of Ravindra and all-rounders Glenn Phillips and Will Somerville.

All three provide spin options for the Black Caps alongside recent regulars – conditions dependent – Ajaz Patel and Mitchell Santner.

The rest of the squad has a familiar feel with the regular Test top five and Will Young filling the batting positions, and Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson providing the pace options.

This series will also be the first without wicket-keeping stalwart BJ Watling after he retired following the WTC final win in England, with Tom Blundell set to take over the Test gloves.

Stead said they’d very much taken a horses-for-courses approach when picking the tour squad.

“Touring India is one of the greatest experiences in cricket and I know our guys are really looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“It’s fair to say we’re expecting spin-friendly conditions and it’s great to have a range of options in this department.

“The success of our spinners on recent tours to the sub-continent has been encouraging and we hope they can once again feature prominently.

“It’s really exciting to begin the second instalment of the WTC and we know there’ll be an extra incentive for …….

Source: https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/heather-du-plessis-allan-drive/audio/bryan-stronach-trent-boult-and-colin-de-grandhomme-opt-out-of-upcoming-black-caps-tour-over-bubble-fatigue/

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