Kane Williamson to captain New Zealand in Test series against England

Kane Williamson will return to captain New Zealand for next month’s Test series against England after the Black Caps named a quartet of uncapped players in a 20-strong touring squad.

Williamson has not featured for the Kiwis since November because of a persistent elbow injury and missed the drawn home series against Bangladesh and South Africa as a consequence.

But he is back in action in the Indian Premier League and will now steward the world Test champions against Ben Stokes’ England for a three-match series that starts at Lord’s on June 2.

New Zealand were crowned world Test champions on their last visit to England last year (Adam Davy/PA)
New Zealand were crowned world Test champions on their last visit to England last year (Adam Davy/PA)

Seamers Jacob Duffy and Blair Tickner, all-rounder Michael Bracewell and wicketkeeper Cam Fletcher have been included as part of an enlarged squad which will be whittled down to 15 players before the series.

“The red-ball tour of England first up is clearly high on our priority list and we’re looking forward to hitting the ground running over there in a couple of weeks’ time,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said.

“Touring England is always a special occasion with the people, the grounds and the history all making for a wonderful experience.

“The English are always tough in their own conditions and have many talented players they can call on.”

Ross Taylor will not be part of New Zealand's contingent after retiring from international duty earlier this year (Mike Egerton/PA)
Ross Taylor will not be part of New Zealand’s contingent after retiring from international duty earlier this year (Mike Egerton/PA)

New Zealand will be without the retired duo of Ross Taylor and BJ Watling but have the other 13 players who beat India at the Ageas Bowl in the final of last year’s World Test Championship.

Shortly before that momentous victory, New Zealand claimed their first Test success in England in 22 years after prevailing 1-0 in a two-match series 11 months ago.

“There’s a reason we’ve only ever won a couple of Test series over there and we know we’ll have to be at our very best to do it again,” Stead added.

New Zealand’s squad for England tour: K Williamson (captain), T Blundell (wicketkeeper), T Boult, M Bracewell, D Conway, C de Grandhomme, J Duffy, C Fletcher, M Henry, K Jamieson, T Latham, D Mitchell, H Nicholls, A Patel, R Ravindra, H Rutherford, T Southee, B Tickner, N Wagner, W Young.