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ENG vs NZ: Henry Nicholls, and Trent Boult doubtful for the first Test

Middle-order batter Henry Nicholls and pacer Trent Boult are doubtful for the first Test against England at Lords on Thursday

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Arijit Barua
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ENG vs NZ: Henry Nicholls, Trent Boult doubtful for first Test against England | SportzPoint.com

New Zealand has named Henry Nicholls and Trent Boult in their 15-man squad for the first Test against England at Lord's, although both have been described as "unlikely" starters. Nicholls has been recovering from a calf injury sustained in training before leaving New Zealand. Moreover, he has not had any game time in the build-up to the three-Test series.

ENG vs NZ: Henry Nicholls, Trent Boult doubtful for the first Test against England | SportzPoint.com

Henry Nicholls

Image - CA

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Boult, meanwhile, will only arrive in the UK later on Monday after flying directly from playing for Rajasthan Royals in Sunday's IPL final.

Michael Bracewell has been included as cover to the squad for Nicholls. Henry has also spent time in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 in the first week of the tour. Bracewell has yet to be capped in Tests, with Daryl Mitchell likely to bat at No. 5 if Nicholls is unfit.

New Zealand has been prepared for Boult not being available, due to Rajasthan's success during the knockout stages of the IPL. Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Kyle Jamieson are likely to feature. Meanwhile, Colin de Grandhomme will add more depth as a seam-bowling allrounder. That would leave the final bowling spot to be filled by either Matt Henry or Ajaz Patel.

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"We've been through this before with different players": Gary Stead

"Trent arrives in later today and we'll see how he scrubs up but we've had conversations leading up into this. It's part of the world and the way it is right now and I guess with the complexity of putting schedules together and then you have the IPL on top of that, it just adds another layer to it all"

Head Coach Gary Stead said

Boult missed New Zealand's two-Test series in England last year, before returning to the side for the World Test Championship final. Head coach Gary Stead said managing their resources was a situation he was used to.

"We've been through this before with different players. I guess it's not something that's new to us and we'll deal with that tomorrow and work out what's best for us going forward with Trent Boult in particular.", Stead added.

Nicholls has returned to training in the nets. However, the Lord's Test could come too soon for the experienced middle-order batter.

Jacob Duffy, Blair Tickner, Rachin Ravindra, and Hamish Rutherford have been released from New Zealand's initial 20-player squad. Rutherford has already linked up with Leicestershire to play in the T20 Blast, while the other three will all head home this week.

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New Zealand squad

Kane Williamson (C)

Tom Blundell (wk)

Trent Boult

Devon Conway

Colin de Grandhomme

Cam Fletcher (wk)

Matt Henry

Kyle Jamieson

Tom Latham

Daryl Mitchell

Henry Nicholls

Ajaz Patel

Tim Southee

Neil Wagner

Will Young

*Michael Bracewell (backup)

Test Cricket Covid 19 Trent Boult England Cricket Team New Zealand Cricket