Cricket: Blackcaps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen praises Will Somerville for third test heroics

Blackcaps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen has heaped praise on rookie spinner Will Somerville, who played a crucial role in New Zealand's 123-run win in the third test against Pakistan.

The 34-year-old snared three crucial wickets on the final day to finish with seven for the match, as the Blackcaps rolled the hosts for 156 in their second innings in Abu Dhabi.

The win helped New Zealand win the test series 2-1 to claim their first away series win against Pakistan since 1969, 49 years ago.

Somerville was called into the test team after Todd Astle picked up a right knee injury playing for the New Zealand A team. He didn't feature in the first two tests, but made his presence felt when called upon.

He finished with figures of 7/127 across the two innings.

"It's awesome in your first test to achieve what he did," Jurgensen told Trackside Radio.

"He had a tear in his eye after the game, and it was lovely to see because he's been on a long journey to achieve this. To come what we did to make adjustments between tests is amazing.

"He is a lovely person. He's very modest and humble, and such a quiet achiever. He's been awesome to have around, and he just fitted in nicely.

Blackcaps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen.
Blackcaps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen. Photo credit: Photosport

"You can tell he's got that experience of his time in Australia and New Zealand, he's 34, playing for a while now and he has these deliveries where one might go straight on and turns at the last moment, and because of his height he gets some good bounce."

The Blackcaps don't have long to celebrate the rare series win against Pakistan as they have to jump straight back on a plane to prepare for a two-test series against Sri Lanka, with the first match starting on December 15 in Wellington.

"We go home for three sleeps, and then we're straight back into it so we need to make those adjustments, especially with the bowlers because we'll be bowling different lengths, but we'll get used to it quickly.

"Our biggest challenge is physically in terms of adjusting to time, sleep but the fact we're going home for a few days will allow this freshening up to happen."

The Blackcaps haven't named their team for the Sri Lanka tests, but some of the names that played against Pakistan - including Somerville - will likely miss out due to the New Zealand conditions being different to the UAE.

Despite that, Jurgensen knows the added depth will be key for New Zealand in the future.

"It gives us more flexibility in our attack heading into an important summer leading into a World Cup so to have lots of people performing is fantastic because it makes your life as a coach easier. 

"There is going to be some tough calls, but right now we're trying to enjoy what we achieved.

"There will be lots of options considered. Lots of players have been performing well."

Newshub.