New Zealand vs Pakistan: Mitchell Santner added in Tests to maintain balance in team, says coach Gary Stead

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has backed Mitchell Santner’s selection in the 13-player squad for the upcoming 2-match Test series against Pakistan. 

Gary Stead looking at an all-rounder role for Mitchell Santner in Tests. (Reuters Photo)

Gary Stead looking at an all-rounder role for Mitchell Santner in Tests. (Reuters Photo)


  • NZ head coach Gary Stead is looking at No.7 position for Mitchell Santner
  • Santner could be chosen ahead of Daryl Mitchell for all-rounder role
  • Williamson is back in the Test side after missing 2nd Test vs WI

On Monday, on the eve of the 3rd and final T20I of the 3-match series against Pakistan, New Zealand announced a 13-man squad for the upcoming Tests. White-ball specialist Mitchell Santner found a place in the squad as Ajaz Patel, who recently recovered from his calf strain, misses out.

Hosts New Zealand took the 3-match T20I series by a margin of 2-1 after Pakistan hit back and won the 3rd T20I in Napier. New Zealand and Pakistan will now be involved in a 2-match Test series, starting on December 26 in Mount Maunganui. New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has backed Santner and expects him to be more attacking with the red ball.

“We know that Mitch in white ball cricket has been a fine bowler for us. I think what we’re looking at is how he keeps being an attacking force in red ball cricket as well. He’s trying to get a bit more drop on the ball,” Stead told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday.

Stead is looking at an all-rounder role at No. 7 for Santner, ahead of Daryl Mitchell, if he gets into the playing XI.

“If Mitch does play he’d likely play in that number seven (batting) position,” Stead said. “The key thing was the balance of the team we are looking for. We would be unlikely to break up that four-pronged bowling attack. If we are going down that lineup it was more about the ability to bat seven for us,” he added.

Here’s New Zealand’s 13-man squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young

India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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