New Zealand have named Indian-born batsman Jeet Raval in the squad for the upcoming four-Test tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Jeet Raval was the only uncapped player named in the 16-man New Zealand squad, which also features the recall of Indian-born spinner Ish Sodhi after a two year absence. The 27-year-old Jeet Raval, born in Gujarat and moving to New Zealand with his family in 2004.
Jeet Raval opener from Auckland was in prolific form in 2015-16 in the Plunket Shield, With an average of 43.85 in First-class cricket, Raval’s place in the side has been backed by his tremendous run of form. The left-handed batsman’s elegant stroke-play along with an impressive strike rate of 50.35 has probably helped him too in finding a place in the team heading for Africa in July. The 27 year old had made his debut in First-class cricket for Auckland.
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said in a statement, “Jeet has been impressive in the Plunket Shield for a number of years now and in the past 12 months we’ve seen his maturity and decision-making continue to improve.”
“He’s learnt to adapt to conditions and has performed well for New Zealand A, so we believe he’s more than ready to make the step up to the international arena.”
New Zealand will play two Tests against Zimbabwe in Harare, starting on July 29 and August 6 respectively. Kane Williamson’s side then play South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban from August 19 before ending the tour with the second Test in Centurion from August 27.
New Zealand Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.
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