World Test Championship: Devon Conway headlines new Blackcaps test trio for England tour

The Blackcaps have named a trio of new faces in their test squad for the upcoming tour of England.

Breakout star of the summer Devon Conway is joined by all-rounder Rachin Ravindra and swing-bowler Jacob Duffy, as newcomers in the 20-strong group.

New Zealand will face England in two tests - at Lord's in London from June 2 and at Edgbaston in Birmingham from June 10.

The squad will then be trimmed to 15 for the ICC World Test Championship Final at Southampton's Ageas Bowl, starting June 18.

Conway's form made him impossible for the selectors to ignore, after dominating in both limited-over formats during a remarkable debut international campaign.

If selected to play, Ravindra, 21, would be the youngest NZ test cricket since Ish Sodhi debuted at 20 years old against Bangladesh in 2013.

In this his third and most successful professional season, the left-hander scored twin hundreds for New Zealand A against the touring West Indies

He recently returned from a dislocated shoulder to record his first Plunket Shield century for Wellington Firebirds, followed by six wickets in the final-round clash against Auckland Aces a week later.

Meanwhile, Duffy has been rewarded for a stellar summer for the Otago Volts, after bursting onto the international stage with 4/33 and Player of the Match on international T20 debut against Pakistan.

"We're absolutely delighted for Rachin and Jacob," says coach Gary Stead. "Rachin's been earmarked as a star of the future since his U19 days and we've been really encouraged by the advancement in his game this season, with both bat and ball. 

"He's obviously an opening option, but also has the ability to bat in the middle order, which - combined with his left-arm finger spin - makes him a great asset to our squad.

"Jacob's been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit and his ability to swing the ball made him a particularly compelling option with a Dukes ball in English conditions."

Seamer Doug Bracewell also returns to the international fold, after a standout season in which he averaged 26 runs per wicket with the ball and 43 with the bat for Central Stags, while claiming nine wickets for New Zealand A at 19.6. Bracewell hasn't played a test since 2016.

Spinner Ajaz Patel and Colin De Granhomme also return from their respective injuries. 

De Grandhomme had surgery on his right ankle in March and will need to pass a fitness test at the final pre-tour camp in early May, while Bracewell (hip) and Ross Taylor (hamstring) must also prove their fitness, before boarding the flight.

Auckland Aces speedster Lockie Ferguson was not considered for the squad, as he continues his return from a partial stress fracture in his back.

Stead says the ICC T20 World Cup in India in October-December was Ferguson's priority and the selectors didn't want to jeopardise that by loading him up for test cricket this early in his recovery.

The Blackcaps will hold two training camps in early May, before departing for England in two groups on May 16/17.

Players involved in the Indian Premier League will be managed on a case-by-case basis, depending on when their team exits the tournament.

Blackcaps squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young

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