Australia announced a strong squad of 14 players for the New Zealand Test series

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Australia announced a strong squad of 14 players for the New Zealand test series: Australia have added an additional fast bowler to their playing group as they look to continue their dominance and regain top spot in the World Test Championship standings.

Australia has announced a squad of 14 players for the crucial two-Test series against New Zealand starting later this month. The reigning ICC World Test Championship winners will travel to New Zealand with the same team that played against the West Indies on home soil last month.

Veteran fast bowler Michael Neser has been included in the playing group for the two-Test series starting in Wellington on February 29.

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Fast bowler Pat Cummins will once again lead the team during the series and will lead a strong bowling line-up that includes Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon.

While vice captain Steve Smith is expected to continue in his new role as an opening batsman, alongside the experienced Usman Khawaja. While Neser is still likely to lag behind Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and fellow fast bowler Scott Boland for a place in the playing eleven.

Chief selector George Bailey said it was important to have another pace option when conditions were favorable on the tour.

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“It’s great to see Michael Neser get another chance in the team after his consistently consistent performances over a long period of time and in the circumstances we expected,” Bailey said.

“As we know every Test match provides vital opportunities to obtain valuable WTC points and we expect this tour will be a tough challenge against a very strong side who have been so consistent at home for a long period of time.”In the World Test Championship standings table, at present Australia is in second place, topped by New Zealand after defeating South Africa by 285 runs on home soil earlier this month.

The first Test will take place in Wellington from February 29 to March 4, after which the series will conclude in Christchurch on March 8.

Australia Test squads against New Zealand series.

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc

Schedule for Australia and New Zealand series.

Test  MatchDatesVenue
First TestFebruary 29 – March 4Wellington
Second TestMarch 8-12Christchurch

ICC Men’s World Test Championship (2023-2025) 

NO.TEAMPLAYEDWONLOSTDRAWPOINT
DEDUCTIONS
POINTSPOINT PERCENTAGE
1NEW ZEALAND321002466.66
2AUSTRALIA10631106655.00
3INDIA632123852.77
4BANGLADESH211001250.00
5PAKISTAN523022236.66
6WEST INDIES412101633.33
7SOUTH AFRICA312001233.33
8ENGLAND7331192125.00
9SRI LANKA20200000.00

For more details, visit the official website: ICC