World Test Championship: Trent Boult, Henry Nicholls in doubt for first test against England as Blackcaps trim squad, Michael Bracewell kept as injury cover

The Blackcaps have cut their England touring squad from 20 players to 15 for the first test beginning at Lord's on Thursday.

New Zealand originally named an extended squad, with several players unavailable for the early stages of the tour, due to Indian Premier League (IPL) commitments.

The Blackcaps first test against England begins on Thursday.
The Blackcaps first test against England begins on Thursday. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

But with two warm-up fixtures completed in the last two weeks, they are now at full strength - in terms of numbers - despite two players being in doubt for the first test.

Seamer Trent Boult looms as the likeliest of the 15-man squad to miss the first test, after only arriving in England on Tuesday (NZ time), with his Rajasthan Royals falling to defeat in the IPL final on Monday morning.

The quick turnaround would give Boult little time to prepare for the first test, with his last red-ball match coming in the Blackcaps win over Bangladesh in January.

Batter Henry Nicholls may also be ruled out of the first test, after suffering a calf strain before the team left for the UK.

Daryl Mitchell would likely replace Nicholls in the side for the first test, after scoring a half-century in New Zealand's warm-up defeat to the English Counties Select XI, although batting all-rounder Michael Bracewell has been retained as injury cover and could make his debut at the home of cricket.

The trio of Jacob Duffy, Rachin Ravindra and Blair Tickner have been trimmed from the squad, while batter Hamish Rutherford was released last week for a stint in English domestic cricket with Leicestershire.

Blackcaps squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Cam Fletcher, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Will Young