Blackcaps vs Bangladesh: New Zealand name starting side for first test

The Blackcaps have named their starting eleven for the first test against Bangladesh, which begins Thursday in Hamilton.

On Wednesday, skipper Kane Williamson took the opportunity to reveal the side early, confirming the trio of Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult will spearhead the pace bowling attack at Seddon Park.

The recalled Todd Astle steps in as the lone spinner to add to the test cap he earned in the pink ball match against England in March of 2017.

Astle's inclusion came at the expense of Ajaz Patel, who played both tests against Sri Lanka in December.

Colin De Grandhomme occupies the lone all-rounder slot, while quick Matt Henry and batsman Will Young are the two players in the squad to miss out.

Williamson's pleased with how the team's shaping up and thinks they've struck a good balance.

"There's some good experience there mixed with an element of youth," said Williamson. "That's always been a strength of New Zealand cricket – that there are guys that are always coming through.

On Wednesday, the Blackcaps rose to second place in the ICC test rankings, their highest placing ever.

Williamson believes that's simply a by-product of playing consistent cricket, and more of it.

"You just focus on the cricket that you play. We obviously came off a home summer of limited test cricket last year, and this year there's been a bit more.

"You turn up to every game to play the best cricket you can and it pretty much ends there."

Despite their comprehensive series sweep of Bangladesh in the one-day international series, Williamson insists they tourists will be better for the experience.

"That series was a really good win for us, but we also saw in every game the quality that they do have. Without a doubt, that one-day series would've helped them coming into this test series as well.

"We always have tough battles against Bangladesh.We know we'll need to be playing our best cricket."

Blackcaps: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult 

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