Somerville out, Young in for Sri Lanka Tests

The off-spinner William Somerville, who played a starring role on debut as New Zealand beat Pakistan last week, has not been included to play the upcoming home Test series against Sri Lanka.

The 13-man squad that was announced on Monday had only one slow bowler in it — Ajaz Patel, who claimed a five-wicket haul in a dramatic four-run victory in Abu Dhabi last month.

Meanwhile, 26-year old opening batsman Will Young earned his maiden-call up to international cricket. He was told of the development soon after scoring a century in a one-day game for New Zealand A against India A in Mount Maunganui.

“Came off the field after a loss, which was a big disappointment,” Young said. “But (selector) Gavin Larsen just asked me, pulled me aside and said I made the Test squad, the 13-man Test squad. Look, I’m over the moon. It’s a dream come true to be part of the Test squad. But yeah, nothing changes. Keep enjoying my cricket. Keep batting and hopefully the chance comes in the near future.

“Heading out to the UAE, I just wanted to do as well as I possibly could. I’ve had a couple of A chances before before and didn’t go to plan so I knew it was do or die. Managed to put some performances together and thankfully the selectors have taken note of that. It’s really nice to get the reward at the end of it.”

Young has played 66 first-class matches for Central Districts and scored 4221 runs at an average of 41, including six centuries and 27 fifties.

He was part of the A squad that went on tour to the UAE in October and has been in a rich vein of form over recent weeks. He was the only New Zealand A batsman to score a century on the UAE tour, one of the three hundreds in his last ten innings across one- and four-day cricket.

Back-up wicketkeeper Tom Blundell was also left out of the touring party that secured New Zealand’s first series win over Pakistan away from home in 49 years.

The selectors, however, kept their faith in Tom Latham, who managed 99 runs in his last six Test innings, and Matt Henry, who played one match against Pakistan, despite being picked in the ODI and Test squads.

New Zealand will play Sri Lanka in two Tests, three ODIs and a T20I, starting from December 15.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Will Young, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner.

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