World Test Championship final: Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell miss selection for India showdown

Mitchell Santner and Daryl Mitchell have missed selection for the Blackcaps' World Test Championship final squad of 15.

The pair featured in the recent test series win over England, with Santner playing the first encounter at Lord's and Mitchell the second at Edgbaston.

Ajaz Patel has been selected as the only specialist spinner, with Colin de Grandhomme getting the all-rounders nod and Will Young the batting cover.

Joining Santner and Mitchell on the unlucky list of omissions are Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy and Rachin Ravindra.

Tom Blundell will cover for wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who missed the second test against England with a back complaint.

Coach Gary Stead has praised the contributions of their departing players, who will leave the squad immediately, with the team arriving in Southampton on Tuesday.

"It's not easy to say goodbye to guys who have given so much to the group," says Stead.

"Doug, Jacob and Rachin have been selfless in their attitude to helping the team, and supporting those in the playing XI. 

"I'd also like to highlight our fourth coach Heinrich Malan, who has done a great job behind the scenes working with the players, in particular, those who were not selected in the playing XIs to face England.

"That work was on show for all to see in the second test, with the six players coming in and performing so well."

Stead said the non-selections of Santner and Mitchell were a "very tough call", with both starring at times during the Blackcaps' final run.

"[Both] are victims of the fierce competition we currently have for places in the test side.

"We've gone with Ajaz as our specialist spinner after an impressive outing at Edgbaston and we believe he could be a factor at the Ageas Bowl.

"Colin has been an integral member of our test set-up for many years and it was great to see him return at Lord's after a long injury layoff.

"He's a proven performer at the top level, and we back him to do a job with the bat and ball if called upon."

Stead confirmed second-test absentees Watling and skipper Kane Williamson have recovered well, and he expects both to play in the final, which starts on Friday.

"Playing in a World Cup final is a really special occasion and I know the guys are looking forward to getting into their work here in Southampton.

"India are a world-class outfit, who possess matchwinners all through their line-up, so we’re under no illusion about how tough they will be to beat."

Blackcaps World Test Championship final squad

Kane Williamson, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young

Join us from Friday, June 18 for live updates of the World Test Championship final between the Blackcaps and India