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Rachin Ravindra earns Test recall; Will O’Rourke picked for SA Tests

Rachin Ravindra is set to add to his three Test caps after being named in the New Zealand squad for the two-Test series against South Africa that starts on February 4 in Mount Maunganui. Canterbury fast bowler Will O’Rourke, who is known as the clone of Kyle Jamieson, has been handed a maiden call-up albeit only for the second Test in Hamilton.
From the Test squad that toured Bangladesh in November-December last year, Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel are the other two members who have not found in a place against South Africa.
Ravindra comes into the squad at the expense of Henry Nicholls, who has suffered somewhat of a form slump. Barring an unbeaten 200 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in March 2023, the batter hasn’t crossed 40 in his last 11 Tests.
Ravindra made his Test debut in November 2021 against India in Kanpur but has not played the format since the new year’s Test against Bangladesh in 2022. However, a breakthrough 2023 which culminated in him bagging the ICC Emerging Player-of-the-Year award has seen him get a Test recall.

O’Rourke, 22, recently made his ODI debut in the three-game series against Bangladesh at home picking five wickets at 23.00.

Mitchell Santner also kept his place and so did Glenn Phillips, who showed his wares in Bangladesh. With scores of 87 and 40 not out, the middle-order batter was named Player of the Match in the second Test in Mirpur which New Zealand won by four wickets. He also picked a three-for in the first innings.

Since making his debut against Australia, this will be the first time that Phillips will be playing a Test at home since January 2020, if picked in the XI.

“It was pleasing as a selector to see different players making contributions during the recent series in Bangladesh,” head coach Gary Stead said. “Glenn and Mitch both earned selection on the back of their recent work in red-ball cricket. Will O’Rourke has impressed us in stepping up from domestic cricket to New Zealand A and then international level. Rachin Ravindra is another player who has really impressed us with his contributions to the team over the past 12 months in international cricket.

“Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson and Kane Williamson are all at slightly different points in their rehabilitation plans. But we’re confident they’ll be good to go at Bay Oval.”

Tim Southee (capt), Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O’Rourke (second test only), Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young

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