The preparations for the ICC World Test Championship final has well and truly begun for New Zealand. Not only do they have a couple of Test matches against England prior to the summit clash against India, but they are also now in fact planning an intra-squad practice match this week in Southampton. It is further being reported that the likes of Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner, who have all returned from the suspended IPL, will take part in this two-day game this week.
While earlier New Zealand Cricket had planned a three-day practice match for the squad members with Tim Southee and Tom Latham leading a side each, the team management has decided to change the schedule a bit. Notably, it is being learned that the intra-squad match will now be a two-day affair, with Williamson replacing Southee as one of the captains. The match will now commence on May 27 instead of May 26 and end on May 28.
Hampshire cricketers to feature in the practice match
Notably, New Zealand cricket confirmed that Hampshire net bowlers will play the two-day match prior to the opening Test match against England.
Meanwhile, skipper Williamson is expected to be the key to New Zealand's chances in the Test series against England as well as the WTC final versus India. Although he is one of the best batters in modern-day game, the 30-year-old does not have a particularly impressive record on England soil, something he would like to amend on this tour.