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Kyle Jamieson returns for England series

The return of Kyle Jamieson headlines the Black Caps test squad for their looming two-match home series against England.

Kyle Jamieson of the Black Caps during Day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match, NZ Black Caps V Pakistan. Hagley Oval, Christchurch, New Zealand. 6th January 2021.
Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

The lofty seam bowler's comeback from injury came in a 14-player squad which included the retention of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi after he was the leading wicket-taker during New Zealand's recent test series in Pakistan.

Jamieson, who had an impressive first two-and-a-half years in the test arena, suffered a back injury during New Zealand's away series against England in June last year.

But having returned through club cricket in Christchurch and got through four white ball matches for Auckland in the past two weeks, the 28-year-old was back in the national red-ball side.

"Kyle is a very determined character with a strong desire to play international cricket for New Zealand," said Black Caps coach Gary Stead.

"Since he was forced from the field in Nottingham he's been very clear that he wants to get his body right to return.

"He's reported good progress since his return to professional cricket with Auckland and he will get the opportunity to play some long form cricket as part of the New Zealand XI Squad to face England in their warm-up match next week at Seddon Park."

While Sodhi had been retained, there was again no room in a smaller home series squad for left-arm off-spinner Ajaz Patel, or batter Glenn Phillips.

All-rounder Michael Bracewell would provide the other spin option, alongside the pace bowling group of captain Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Jamieson, Neil Wagner and Blair Tickner.

Henry and Wellington wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell finished the Pakistan tour with injuries but were both expected to be fully fit when the squad assembled in Tauranga on February 12.

The first test, a day-night match, was set to start in Mt Maunganui on February 16,, with the second test at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

New Zealand test squad to play England: Tim Southee (c), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.