Neser has often been around the Australia set-up in recent years and was part of the World Test Championship final squad last year. His two Tests have both come in Adelaide – against England in 2021-22 and West Indies the following season. His Sheffield Shield numbers are significantly down this season with nine wickets at 50.33 but he is viewed as an ideal bowler for New Zealand.
“It’s great to see Michael Neser get another opportunity in the squad following his ever-consistent performances over a long period of time and the conditions we expect,” national selector George Bailey said.”
The overall squad is relatively small at 14 names with the short flight between the two countries meaning replacements could come in reasonably easily. However, it could leave Australia a little exposed if an injury occurred shortly before a match or in the event of a concussion during a game especially around the wicketkeeper or spin bowler with no direct cover for Alex Carey or Nathan Lyon.
New Zealand are currently top of the World Test Championship following their opening victory over South Africa and will expect to consolidate that in Hamilton. The upcoming tour has grown in significance for Australia have they lost to West Indies at the Gabba.
“As we know every Test match provides vital opportunities to obtain valuable WTC points and we expect this tour will be a tough challenge against a very strong side who have been so consistent at home for a long period of time,” Bailey said.
The first Test begins in Wellington on February 29 followed by the second in Christchurch on March 8.
Australia Test squad vs New Zealand
Pat Cummins (capt), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc