The New Zealand cricket team is currently playing a two-Test series against England in the United Kingdom. The series got underway on Wednesday at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The Blackcaps will play three Tests in England this summer. First, they will play two matches versus the hosts in the ongoing series and then lock horns with India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have named a star-studded squad for the three Test matches.
Interestingly, there are five players in the squad who were not born in New Zealand. Pace-bowling all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme was born in Zimbabwe, while spin bowler Ajaz Patel was born in Maharashtra, India.
There are three South Africa-born cricketers in the current New Zealand Test squad as well. Here’s a look at them.
1. New Zealand’s newest Test player – Devon Conway
Kiwi opener Devon Conway has become the talk of the town because of his excellent batting performance on Day 1 of the England vs New Zealand Test series.
The left-handed batsman scored his maiden Test hundred at Lord’s on the very first day of his Test career.
Many fans would have known now that Conway is from South Africa. The 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman was born in Johannesburg, Transvaal.
He initially played domestic cricket in his home country but did not get any opportunities to play for the South African cricket team.
Conway moved to New Zealand in 2017 and by 2020, he was eligible to play for the Blackcaps. He represents New Zealand in all three formats currently.
2. Blackcaps’ left-arm fast bowler – Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner is a Test specialist. The left-arm fast bowler, who has not played a single ODI or T20I for New Zealand, currently holds the third rank in the ICC Test Rankings for bowlers.
Wagner was born in Pretoria, Transvaal. He started his cricketing journey in South Africa but shifted to Otago in 2009. Three years later, Wagner received his first Test cap against the West Indies at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
So far, the 35-year-old has played 52 Test matches for the Blackcaps, bagging 219 wickets. Wagner will be one of the players to watch out for in the three Test matches set to take place this month.
3. Veteran Kiwi wicketkeeper – BJ Watling
BJ Watling is another Test specialist to appear on this list. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman made his Test debut for New Zealand back in December 2009.
He has played in all three formats for the Blackcaps, but has not been part of the white-ball team since 2018.
The Durban-born player has represented New Zealand in 74 Test matches. Not many members of the cricket universe would know that Watling was 10 years old when his family shifted to New Zealand.
The 35-year-old has clarified that the ongoing England tour will be his last. It will be interesting to see if Watling can end his career by winning the World Test Championship trophy.
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