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Will Somerville drafted in New Zealand squad in place of Trent Boult
New Zealand News

Will Somerville drafted in New Zealand squad in place of Trent Boult

New Zealand have called up off-spinner Will Somerville to replace the injured Trent Boult for the third and final Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The unusual decision to choose a spinner in place of an unfit seamer seems to be a nod to the slow nature of the SCG playing surface.

Spinners have generally thrived at the SCG in the Sheffield Shield this season and Somerville's previous experience of playing at the ground has convinced the selectors to deem him as the suitable candidate in the squad.

The 35-year-old, born in Wellington, was raised in Australia and turned out for New South Wales in the domestic first-class competition managing to take 35 wickets in the 2016-17 season.

"There’s no secret the SCG pitch is one of the more spin-friendly in Australia," Black Caps head coach Gary Stead said.

"Will offers something different to our two other spinners in the squad with his right arm off-spin and height," he added, alluding to the lanky stature of Somerville.

"The fact he’s played a lot of cricket in Sydney during his career for New South Wales will also be helpful as we prepare for this final Test."

Somerville made his Test debut last year against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi where he prospered with the ball and scalped seven wickets.

He then got the chance to don the national jersey in the longest format during the away tour to Sri Lanka, again producing a handful of useful spells to help his side draw the series.

New Zealand might want to stick with Mitchell Santner in the lower order despite his poor bowling displays in the first two games, leaving Somerville and Todd Astle in contention for the second spinner's slot.

Australia currently lead the three-match series 2-0 following another comfortable win in Melbourne by 247 runs.

Boult suffered a fracture to his non-bowling hand while batting in the first innings of the Melbourne Test and had to fly back home to initiate the recovery process.