Will Young selected in New Zealand squad for Sri Lanka tests

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Uncapped batsman Will Young has been selected in New Zealand's squad for the first two cricket tests against Sri Lanka, beginning at the Basin Reserve on Saturday.

Young, who has been in form for New Zealand A and in domestic first-class and one-day competitions, adds batting cover in the 13-man squad announced Monday for the first and second tests of the three-match series.

Left-armer Ajaz Patel, who made his debut in New Zealand's recent test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, is the only spinner included in the squad and will likely play his first test on home soil at Wellington.

Patel held out challenges for the sole spinner position from off-spinner Will Somerville and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. New Zealand seldom plays two spinners in home tests, leaving no room for Will Somerville, who made his debut in the third test against Pakistan, helping to bowl New Zealand to a match and series victory.

"There's a real swell of support for the test team following their efforts in the UAE so we're hoping to transtion that momentum into a big home summer," selector Gavin Larsen said. "AJaz certainly grabbed his opportunity on the UAE tour and he's a proven performer in New Zealand conditions.

"Will Somerville was an obvious stand-out on debut in the Abu Dhabi decider and it's great to know we've got quality spin bowlers who can create competition for places."

Young scored centuries against Pakistan A and India A in recent months and Larsen said the batsman "fully deserves his call-up."


New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Jeet Raval, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, B.J. Watling, Will Young.