New Zealand head coach Gary Stead opened up on picking Rachin Ravindra over Henry Nicholls for the forthcoming home Test series against South Africa and said that it was a “very tough decision”.
While talking to the media, Stead explained that even though Nicholls is a great player, it was time for the youngster to play Test cricket more often.
He added that Ravindra would make a “good fist” in the Kiwi Test squad.
“It’s a very tough decision. I mean, Henry has been a big part of the Test squad for 56 Tests and so whenever you leave a player out then it weighs heavy with you and it’s a tough decision to make. But we just felt it was time for Rachin in Test cricket and we obviously know the talent he is and feel that he will make a really good fist of it at this stage of his career,” Stead was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying.
The head coach further added that it was not the end for Nicholls, and would make a comeback in the squad once again.
“His currency is weight of runs, isn’t it? To do that in domestic cricket and show that he’s the next person in line is still really possible to do,” Stead said. “He’s still relatively young in his career – he’s only early 30s  – we definitely don’t see it as the end for him. It’s definitely a setback but there’s no reason why he can’t make it back again.”
The two-Test series between South Africa and New Zealand will take place from February 4 onwards till February 17, with two games set to be played in Mount Maunganui and Hamilton.
Having been brought into the line-up for Henry Nicholls, Ravindra is set to bat in the middle order for the first time in his Test career, with Will Young providing batting cover.
Meanwhile, New Zealand also included top-ranked Test batter Kane Williamson in their squad while experienced quick Tim Southee will captain Kiwis during the series.
New Zealand squad: Tim Southee, 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 and Will Young.
(Source – ANI)