Stuart Broad is returning to England’s Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in February, though rising star Rehan Ahmed has been left out.
Broad, 36, missed the record-breaking win in Pakistan due to the birth of his first child but is part of a 15-strong squad for the two-match tour in New Zealand, along with fellow seamers Matthew Potts and Olly Stone.
Potts, who impressed in England’s summer, will have a point to prove after being overlooked in Pakistan, while Stone, who last played a Test in early 2021, may also get a chance in more seamer-friendly conditions.
Following two warm-up matches, England play a day-night Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on February 16-20 before a second Test in Wellington on February 24-28.
Two bowlers rested from the squad, though, are stars from the winter, Ahmed and Mark Wood.
England squad for New Zealand Test tour
Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Olly Stone
Ahmed, England’s youngest wicket-taker who took a five-for on debut in Karachi’s third Test, is out – with the ECB citing his ‘management for the winter’. The leg-spinner, 18, will go the UAE T20 League in January with a view to him joining up with the white-ball team in Bangladesh in March if selected.
Wood, meanwhile, is taking a break from all international and franchise cricket in January to ‘fully recover after a busy winter in all formats’. Like Ahmed, he could return for the Bangladesh tour.
In terms of the batters, Essex’s Dan Lawrence is back in the squad, which goes to New Zealand aiming to replicate the attacking style that has seen them win nine of 10 Tests since Ben Stokes took over as captain and Brendon McCullum as coach.
New Zealand vs England schedule
- 1st Test (pink ball, Bay Oval) – February 16-20
- 2nd Test (Wellington) – February 24-28
Fresh off potentially debuting for England’s 50-over team in South Africa – with a three-match series from January 27 to February 1 – Harry Brook is unsurprisingly included in the Test squad after his Pakistan exploits.
Ben Duckett, Will Jacks and Stone are the only other players who are in both squads, and will fly directly to New Zealand after the South Africa series.
Joe Root has been rested for those ODIs but is in Test squad. England’s former captain will play a handful of matches in the UAE T20 League before having a short break before joining up with Stokes’ team.