New Zealand recently finished as the runners-up in the recently concluded ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
Christchurch: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Monday announced 15-member squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.
The team will be led by Kane Williamson and the test squad comprises of four frontline spinners. Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel and off-spinner Will Somerville have been called back into the team to bolster the spin bowling attack.
"Playing three spinners is an option in Sri Lankan conditions and we believe this group provides the best variations and skill mix on offer," Gary Stead, the head coach of New Zealand said in an official statement.
"England were playing three spinners against Sri Lanka on their successful visit there last year and the slow bowlers also dominated the previous series against South Africa," he added.
Patel and Somerville last played a match for New Zealand eight months ago in UAE against Pakistan.
Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Colin de Grandhomme have been named in the squad as fast-bowling options. BJ Watling will act as the regular wicket-keeper, but in case, he gets injured, the management has named Tom Blundell as the wicket-keeping cover.
New Zealand recently finished as the runners-up in the recently concluded ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. They came on the losing end in the finals, on the basis of boundary countback rule as both 50-over action and super over ended up in a tie.
"It's good timing for us after the World Cup. It was an incredible time for the team and the country, but we're now excited to move forward as a group and sink our teeth into another opportunity," Stead said.
New Zealand are slated to play two Test matches and three T20Is against Sri Lanka, but the management is yet to announce the T20I squad.
BlackCaps 15-member team for upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, JEet Raval, Will Somerville, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk).
The first Test match will be played on August 14-18 at Galle whereas the second Test will be played on August 22-26 in Colombo.
The three T20Is will be played on August 31, September 2 and 6.