5 Jan 2017

Nicholls named in Test squad

6:54 pm on 5 January 2017

Despite averaging just 24 in nine Tests, batsman Henry Nicholls has been named in the Black Caps 13 man Test squad for the series against Bangladesh.

Henry Nicholls.

Henry Nicholls. Photo: Photosport

Batsman Dean Brownlie has also been included in the squad after being re-called for the second Test against Pakistan.

The 32-year-old did not take the field and has not played a Test since 2013, averaging 29.62 in 14 Tests for New Zealand.

Apart from Brownlie, all the players in the squad featured in the recent Test series victory over Pakistan.

After undergoing surgery in December to remove a growth on his eye, Ross Taylor returns to the international fold.

Selector Gavin Larsen welcomed the 32-year-old's return to the side.

"It's great to have Ross back. He has a phenomenal record that speaks for itself and he's coming off a terrific hundred in his last Test.

"He's obviously been an essential part of our Test side for a long time and brings invaluable experience and knowledge to the group."

While emphasising that the 25-year-old Nicholls has been given another chance to stake his claim for the number five spot, selectors also kept faith in the allrounder Colin de Grandhomme and opening batsman Jeet Raval.

Larsen said both had shown promise in their debut series against Pakistan.

"We've still got some relatively new players in the squad and playing in home conditions gives them a great opportunity to further their experience on the international stage," Larsen said.

Mitchell Santner is the sole spin option, with Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Matt Henry set to vie for the seamers spots.

Black Caps Test squad:

Kane Williamson (c)

Trent Boult

Dean Brownlie

Colin de Grandhomme

Matt Henry

Tom Latham

Henry Nicholls

Jeet Raval

Mitchell Santner

Tim Southee

Ross Taylor

Neil Wagner

BJ Watling (wk)

1st Test:

Thursday, 12 January, Basin Reserve, Wellington.

2nd Test:

Friday, 20 January 2017 Hagley Oval, Christchurch.