Lockie Ferguson is in line to potentially make his Test debut during the two Tests against England after he was included in the New Zealand squad. The side also sees the return of Kane Williamson, who missed the five-match Twenty20 International series due to a hip injury and he will captain the side for both the Tests. The side also sees two omissions with William Somerville and Ajaz Patel, who starred in Sri Lanka not being part of the side. Todd Astle, the legspinner, has been included in the squad. Ferguson was the star in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup where he ended up as the second highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets in nine games at an average of 19.47 and an economy rate of 4.88.
Ferguson took 4/37 against Afghanistan but he managed four three-wicket hauls in games against Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa and in the epic final against England in Lord's. The right-arm pacer has been in good form when he took 4/23 heading into the Tests for Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield clash against Wellington and New Zealand will be hoping that his fitness remains steady as they also prepare for the three-Test series against Australia starting in December.
The series against England is not part of the ICC World Test Championship while the one in Australia, which will involve a Pink Ball Test in Perth and a historic Boxing Day and New Year Test in Melbourne and Sydney for the Kiwis after close to 30 years, is part of the cycle. Gavin Larsen, New Zealand selector, added that Ferguson has a brilliant bowling skill set that makes him special. "It's well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proved his durability. He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series. Our pace bowling stocks are strong at the moment and we feel Lockie will add another dimension to the picture, and will create some great competition," Larsen said.
The first Test will be played on November 21 at Mount Maunganui which will host a Test for the first time while the second Test will be on November 29 at Seddon Park, Hamilton.