Blackcaps vs Sri Lanka: Ajaz Patel named in New Zealand's first test squad

Breakthrough spinner Ajaz Patel looks likely to play his first test on home soil after being included in the squad for the first test against Sri Lanka.

The selectors have favoured Patel over Will Somerville and Ish Sodhi as the lone spin bowler in the 13-man group for the opening contest of the summer, which starts at the Basin Reserve on Saturday.

Along with wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, Somerville and Sodhi have been released to play in the fourth round of the Plunket Shield.

Central Stag Will Young is also in line for a test debut, called in as batting cover after scoring his third century of the season for New Zealand A in their one-day loss to India A on Sunday.

Patel was a revelation during the Blackcaps' historic test series win over Pakistan. In the first test, he snared figures of 7/123 and played a critical hand in the team's four-run win.

"Ajaz certainly grabbed his opportunity on the UAE tour and he's a proven performer in New Zealand conditions," said selector Gavin Larsen.

"Will Somerville was an obvious stand-out on debut in the Abu Dhabi decider and it's great to know we've got quality spin bowlers who can create competition for places.

"It's an exciting time for Will Young who has been pushing for higher honours for a while now. He scored hundreds against Pakistan A and India A in recent months and fully deserves his call-up."

Blackcaps first test squad

Kane Williamson (c)

Trent Boult

Colin de Grandhomme

Matt Henry

Tom Latham

Henry Nicholls

Ajaz Patel

Jeet Raval

Tim Southee

Ross Taylor

Neil Wagner

BJ Watling

Will Young