Kane Williamson has been passed fit to captain a New Zealand Test squad to face England and Australia that includes uncapped paceman Lockie Ferguson.

A hip injury kept Williamson out of the five Twenty20 internationals on home soil against England, with the tourists earning a 3-2 series victory thanks to a Super Over triumph at Eden Park on Sunday.

The 29-year-old batsman has recovered in time to lead the Black Caps in the inaugural Test at his home ground of Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, which begins next Thursday.

New Zealand will then face England again at Seddon Park from November 29 before a trio of Tests against trans-Tasman rivals Australia, the first of which takes place at Optus Stadium in Perth.

"Kane's made good progress over the past fortnight and we're delighted to welcome back a player of his class and experience," said selector Gavin Larsen.

"It's obviously going to be a very special Test for him and Trent Boult being such passionate locals - we know there's already a lot of excitement in that part of the Bay of Plenty."

Williamson will be joined by Ferguson, who has earned his maiden Test call-up after becoming a key cog for the Kiwis in white-ball cricket.

The 28-year-old paceman has claimed 153 wickets in 42 first-class matches at an average of 24.30.

"There's no doubt Lockie has been knocking on the door for a while now and we're delighted to finally bring him into the Test fold," Larsen said.

"It's well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proven durability to stay on the park.

"He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series and backed that up with a solid outing for the Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield where he claimed 4-23 against the Wellington Firebirds.

"Our pace bowling stocks are strong at the moment and we feel Lockie will add another dimension to the picture which will create some great competition."

 

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

Graeme Smith has withdrawn his interest in becoming Cricket South Africa's (CSA) first full-time director of cricket due to concerns over the existing structure.

It was reported last week that former Proteas captain Smith, who played 117 Tests, 197 ODIs and 33 Twenty20 internationals for his country, had interviewed for the position.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the 38-year-old faced competition for the role, which was created after the 2019 Cricket World Cup, from interim post-holder Corrie van Zyl and former national selector Hussein Manack.

However, Smith has pulled out of the running because he does not have confidence the role offers sufficient ability to implement change at CSA.

"Following the news in the media this week that I interviewed for the CSA director of cricket role, I feel it necessary to confirm that I have unfortunately withdrawn my interest for the role," Smith wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

"I would love to have taken on the role. However, despite my obvious desire to make a difference, during the long and, at times, frustrating process over the last 10 or so weeks of discussions, I have not developed the necessary confidence that I would be given the level of freedom and support to initiate the required changes.

"My passion for our nation's cricketing fortunes remains steadfast and I give my heartfelt best wishes to whomever does take the role on.

"I will continue to support the teams and give my advice and guidance whenever I can."

Sri Lanka will be the opponents for Pakistan's first Test series on home soil for a decade next month.

There has been no cricket in the longest format in Pakistan since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

While there has been some limited-overs internationals in Pakistan, the ICC Champions Trophy holders have had to play home Tests in the United Arab Emirates due to concerns over security.

Sri Lanka recently travelled to Pakistan for white-ball contests and have now agreed to return for Tests at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and Karachi's National Stadium - starting on December 11 and 19 respectively.

Zakir Khan, PCB director - international cricket, said: "This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world.

"We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB's efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation.

"Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards.

"This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media."

India skittled Bangladesh out cheaply on day one of the Test series against Bangladesh and look set to take a big lead after only losing Rohit Sharma in reply at the Holkar Stadium.

Mohammed Shami took 3-27 as the Tigers - sorely missing Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal - collapsed from 99-3 to 150 all out in Indore on Thursday after winning the toss.

Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin claimed two wickets apiece for an India side with a 100 per cent record in the ICC World Test Championship.

The top-ranked nation - so dominant on home soil - were 86-1 at stumps on a one-sided day, with Mayank Agarwal (37 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (43no) closing in on half-centuries after Rohit failed.

New captain Mominul Haque must have been questioning his decision to bat first when the Tigers were reduced to 12-2, with Shadman Islam edging Ishant (2-20) behind after Umesh (2-47) removed Imrul Kayes.

Shami got one to shape away and strike Mohammad Mithun in front and matters could have become even worse for Bangladesh but for some shoddy work in the slips.

Mushfiqur was put down by Virat Kohli on three and Ajinkya Rahane with 14 to his name, capitalising by striking for a straight six, then dispatching the next ball for four.

Ashwin (2-43) ended a fourth-wicket stand of 68 when Mominul (37) was cleaned up without offering a shot and the spinner also bowled Mahmudullah after he was spilled by Rahane.

The skilful Shami generated more sharp swing to uproot Mushfiqur's off stump and the tourists lost their last five wickets for only 10 runs after he departed for 43.

Shami claimed two wickets in as many balls just before tea, Mehidy Hasan failing to review an lbw decision when the ball was missing leg, and Ishant struck from the first delivery of the evening session as Bangladesh folded.

Abu Jayed snared Rohit caught behind for only six, but Pujara and Agarwal were untroubled in an unbroken stand of 72 as spinner Taijul Islam allowed the runs to flow a little too easily.

Joe Root says dropping back down to number four in the England order will benefit both himself and the Test side.

The skipper moved up to the troublesome number three spot for the drawn Ashes series.

Root averaged 32.50 at first drop, failing to make a century in 10 innings as Australia retained the urn.

England's premier batsman is set to move back down to his favoured position when the two-match series against New Zealand starts at Mount Maunganui next week, with Joe Denly expected to come in at three provided he recovers from an ankle injury.

He told BBC's Test Match Special: "I'd like to be consistent with it now, moving forward. It doesn't always work exactly how you want it to but it would be nice for that to be the case.

"I just think it suits my game a little bit more. It definitely fits in with captaincy a little bit better for me.

"I know previous captains have preferred to get out there early and just get amongst it but I quite like to split the two and to really focus on my batting.

"I've found over time that, generally, I've consistently played better in that position."

Joe Burns has returned to a 14-man Australia squad at the expense of Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja for the two-Test series against Pakistan.

Queensland batsman Burns is expected to partner David Warner at the top of the order on his home surface when the series begins at the Gabba on November 21.

Burns, who was overlooked for the Ashes after battling post-viral fatigue, is back in the fold despite making 0 and 11 for Australia A in this week's tour match against Pakistan.

Cameron Bancroft compiled a defiant 49 in the first innings of that match and is set to compete with Burns for a recall.

National selector Trevor Hohns indicated Travis Head, one of two vice-captains, would likely regain his spot in the playing side.

The 25-year-old South Australian was dropped for the final Ashes Test, but Will Pucovski's withdrawal from consideration for mental health reasons left selectors with few genuine middle-order options.

"Travis has immense experience as a young leader for his state," Hohns said on Thursday.

"He's certainly been in the mix, [firstly] to play, and we also like the way he goes about his business when he's around the team and the leadership skills he has to offer."

Left-handers Harris and Khawaja will not be involved in Brisbane or in the second Test in Adelaide, which starts on November 29.

Uncapped seamer Michael Neser is one of five pace bowling options in the squad alongside Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson.

Meanwhile, Steve Smith has been fined 25 per cent of his Sheffield Shield match fee after pleading guilty to the charge of showing dissent at an umpire's decision.

The world's top-ranked Test batsman showed visible frustration after being judged caught behind for 103 in the first innings of New South Wales' match against Western Australia.

 

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (captain), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

Will Pucovski has pulled out of contention to be selected for Australia's Test squad against Pakistan to focus on his mental health.

The 21-year-old Australian batsman had been in line to push for the 14-man side, which will be named on Thursday ahead of the two-Test series starting November 21.

Pucovski has made a strong start in the Sheffield Shield, scoring 123 runs for Victoria against South Australia, while also impressing on tour with Australia A in England earlier in 2019.

He was also selected for an Australia A side that took on Pakistan in a three-day tour match in Perth this week. 

Having previously taken two breaks to deal with his mental wellbeing, Pucovski informed Australia's management that he was struggling during Tuesday's evening session, as his side collapsed in their first innings.

"We applaud Will for having the courage to discuss his situation with team management in Perth," Cricket Australia's manager of national teams Ben Oliver said in a statement.

"Will's decision not to nominate for Test selection was the right one in the circumstances and one that everyone in the Australian cricket family supports.

"Mental health is a complex issue that unfortunately impacts many young men and women in our society. By Will bravely taking this position, he will undoubtedly inspire others facing similar challenges to speak up and take positive steps towards improving their mental wellbeing.

"The most important thing now is for Will to be given the time, space and expert support that he needs to return to full health as soon as possible. I speak on behalf of everyone in Australian cricket when I say we wish Will the very best in his recovery."

Pucovski's decision comes on the back of Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell confirming he is taking time off to address "difficulties" relating to his mental wellbeing.

India are excited for their first day-night Test but captain Virat Kohli insists they have not overlooked their opening match against Bangladesh.

The two-Test series between India and Bangladesh begins in Indore on Thursday, before a maiden pink-ball match for both teams commences at Eden Gardens on November 22.

The match in Kolkata will leave newly promoted Afghanistan and Ireland as the only teams yet to play a day-night Test.

Kohli anticipates the fast bowlers getting plenty of joy under the lights but assured India's main objective is getting a positive result in Indore.

"It's quite exciting. I think it's a new way to bring excitement to Test cricket. We are all very excited about that," Kohli, who was rested for the 2-1 Twenty20 series victory over Bangladesh, told a pre-match news conference on Wednesday.

"The pink ball I played [on Tuesday], I felt it swings a lot more as compared to the red ball because there's extra lacquer on the ball which doesn't go away too fast. And the seam holds upright quite a bit.

"I think if the pitch has extra help for the bowlers then the bowlers will be in the game, especially fast bowlers, throughout the course of the Test match.

"I don't quite know how the old ball behaves with the dew and the lacquer going off. It will be interesting to see how much the old ball does. With the pink ball, with the pitch having enough, the life in it will be a very important factor.

"In Test cricket I don't think you can afford to take focus away at all, not even one session, not even one over. With the red ball you need to be absolutely precise in your focus, every game that you play, every ball that you play, every situation that you are in.

"Our primary focus is tomorrow's Test match. When the pink-ball Test match arrives, as I said we will be quite excited about it."

Bangladesh will be without captain Shakib Al Hasan due to a two-year ban for ICC anti-corruption breaches, while Tamim Iqbal withdrew from the squad to be with his wife ahead of the birth of their second child.

Mominul Haque expects Bangladesh to rise to the task of playing without two key figures and does not plan to change his approach despite being named stand-in skipper.

"I do not think being the captain will change my batting style. I will apply the same composure I did before and will bat in the same manner," said the 28-year-old.

"Being a captain will help me become more responsible and it will further improve my cricketing knowledge. As a captain, it is a good opportunity for me to showcase my skills. It will be all about adjusting the mental aspect of the game.

"It will be challenging to play without Shakib and Tamim, but the guys are up for the challenge."

Virat Kohli believes the "remarkable" Glenn Maxwell has set a brilliant example for all cricketers by deciding to temporarily step away from the sport and focus on his mental health.

Cricket Australia announced ahead of the third Twenty20 against Sri Lanka two weeks ago that, following a talk with head coach Justin Langer, Maxwell would take a short break for personal reasons.

India captain Kohli commended the all-rounder and recalled difficulties he wrestled with alone while he struggled for runs during India's tour of England five years ago.

"I'm absolutely for it," Kohli said of Maxwell's decision ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh in Indore, which begins on Thursday.

"To be very honest, everyone is focused on what they need to do. It is difficult for anyone to figure out what is going around in another person's mind.

"I have gone through a phase in my career where I felt like it was the end of the world. In England in 2014, I did not know what to do and what to say to anyone and how to speak and how to communicate.

"I could not have said I am not feeling great mentally and I need to get away from the game because you never know how it is taken.

"I think these things should be of great importance because if you think that a player is important enough for the team or Indian cricket to go forward. I think they should be looked after. When you get to the international stage, every player needs that communication, that ability to just speak out.

"I think what Glenn has done is remarkable and he has set a right example for the cricketers all around the world that if you are not in the best frame of mind, you try, try and try but as human beings, you reach a tipping point at some stage when you need time away from the game. Not to say you give up, but just to gain more clarity."

Misbah-ul-Haq has backed spinner Yasir Shah to have a big impact for his Pakistan side as they prepare to take on Australia in an upcoming two-match Test series.

The Pakistan side have undergone a revamp following a frustrating 2019, with Azhar Ali replacing Sarfraz Ahmed as Test captain, while Misbah has been appointed as both coach and chief selector.

Australia provide Pakistan's first opponents in the longest format since this overhaul, with matches set for Brisbane and Adelaide later this month.

Yasir was one of the players involved when Pakistan last toured against Australia in 2016-17, as the visitors succumbed to a 3-0 series whitewash.

And Misbah claims the experience from three years ago means Yasir, who took 1-24 from Australia A's brief first innings in this week's warm-up match, is well placed to spearhead Pakistan's bowling attack this time around.

"Our young fast bowlers and spinner Yasir Shah are our biggest positives," the coach told a news conference. "[Yasir] is aware of Australian conditions and he also had better preparation playing domestic cricket at home.

"He bowled lengthy spells there and he knows exactly what was missing during his previous tour here. So I am hoping that our preparations are better than before.

"It's important for us to take 20 wickets because you can't win without it. I feel our batting line-up is capable enough to put up 400 to 450 runs on the board, so it also helps our bowlers along the way."

Pakistan lost 2-0 in the sides' Twenty20 International series that ended last week, but Misbah believes the introduction of several fresh faces has given the tourists cause for optimism.

"Overall, when you try out different options and search for solutions, you have go through all of that," Misbah said.

"Obviously, when you are settled, you get the results. But if you want to improve a few things, you should also think about the future for back-ups.

"If you need to try new players, you need to look past that [the loss]. Obviously, we were looking to win those games. But we were looking far ahead by giving a few players the experience they need.

"There are a lot of positives for us, and this is definitely going to help Pakistan in the future."

Cameron Bancroft dug in after his fellow Test hopefuls failed miserably with the bat on day two of the tour match between Pakistan and Australia A.

Joe Burns was bowled for a golden duck by the excellent Imran Khan (5-32) before Marcus Harris (16), Travis Head (13), Usman Khawaja (6), and Will Pucovski (5) also fell cheaply.

Bancroft made a patient 49 after coming in at number six, putting on 65 with Riley Meredith (19 not out) for the last wicket to get Australia's second string up to 122 from a shambolic 57-9.

Veteran seamer Khan was the star of the show as Pakistan dominated the penultimate day of the pink ball contest at Perth Stadium, closing on 7-0 with a lead of 313.

The tourists were a bowler down after 16-year-old Naseem Shah was withdrawn following the death of his mother.

Australia and Pakistan start the two-match Test series at the Gabba on November 21.

Australia fast bowler James Pattinson plans to make back-to-back Test matches the next milestone in his return to international cricket.

The injury-ravaged Victorian ended a three-year absence from the top level with two appearances in the recent Ashes series in England.

Pattinson was forced to undergo spinal surgery to correct a career-threatening back problem in 2017 and selectors have been careful with his reintegration.

He took two wickets in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston and then claimed another three in the third Test in Leeds, with a rest in between.

"The next process for me now, if I do get the chance in the Test arena, is to play more back-to-back cricket," Pattinson told reporters.

"I've been injury-free for the best part of a year now. The body is feeling good. Hopefully that's the next progression, if I do get a chance in the Test team."

He continued: "I think the more cricket you play, the more comfortable you feel in terms of your body and how the ball is coming out.

"You see the batters around and they're playing all the time and they get into a rhythm. As a bowler, it's hard sometimes when you're stopping and going and stopping and going.

"Hopefully the next step of the process is playing some consistent cricket."

Australia are set to play five Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand over the next two months, giving Pattinson the chance to push for consecutive matches.

But the 29-year-old faces strong competition simply to win selection, with Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser also challenging Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc for places.

"We've got a lot of fast bowlers up at the moment, which is great for Australian cricket," Pattinson said.

"All anyone can do is go out there and do their best for the team they're playing in."

Alastair Cook has no concerns over Jonny Bairstow's ability to rediscover his best form in Test cricket after he was called up to cover for Joe Denly ahead of England's tour of New Zealand.

After an indifferent Ashes series, wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow was left out of England's Test squad for the two-match series, which starts on November 21 at Mount Maunganui.

Denly has played no part in the ongoing Twenty20 series against the Black Caps, which is tied at 2-2 heading into the final match after David Malan's record-breaking hundred earned the tourists a 76-run win in Napier on Friday.

While Denly, who has suffered ankle ligament damage, is hopeful of being fit for a three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand Cricket XI, which starts on November 15, England have confirmed Bairstow – who has hit just 43 runs from his three innings so far on the tour – will remain in the country as cover.

Despite Bairstow's initial omission from the squad, former England captain Cook, the all-time leading run-scorer in Tests for his country, has backed the Yorkshireman to step up if required.

"He is a world-class player," Cook told Sky Sports. "His white-ball career has flourished, but he has struggled a little bit for form in the Test arena.

"He had such an impact at the top of the order after moving up to opener a couple of years ago – he was opening the batting with David Warner in the IPL – but I think that has probably made him stay a little bit legside of the ball and, as a consequence of that, he is probably getting bowled a little too often in the red-ball game.

"The break will do him good. He got left out of the Sri Lanka tour last year, when he was injured, and he then came back in at number three and got a hundred straight away.

"He has been called up probably for logistics as well. It's a long way to fly someone over to New Zealand when he is already out there as cover.

"It will be good for him to reassess where he's at with Test cricket. When you get dropped, it's that line in the sand and it's about how you respond to that.

"Knowing Jonny and his competitive spirit, it will give him a little kick up the backside and he'll be back scoring runs for England, because good players like him respond."

Cook also hailed Eoin Morgan's decision to stay on as ODI and T20 captain after England's triumph over New Zealand in the World Cup.

"I suppose the tempting thing is to always go out on a high," said Cook. "The pinnacle, standing at Lord's, his home ground, after such an amazing World Cup win. How do you top that?

"But, actually, with the T20 World Cup only 12 months away - they got to the final in 2016 - I think there is some unfinished business there.

"The way he is striking the ball at the moment is fantastic; he has played really, really well over the last two years or so - and the way he leads the team, I would have been surprised had he not carried on."

Dropped wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has been added to the England Test squad to face New Zealand as cover for the injured Joe Denly.

Denly has played no part in the ongoing Twenty20 International series with the Black Caps after suffering ankle ligament damage.

The tourists are hopeful that batsman Denly will be fit for a three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand Cricket XI, which gets under way on November 15.

Bairstow will remain in New Zealand when the T20 series finishes at Eden Park on Sunday and will join the Test squad for two warm-up games, providing another option if Denly cannot prove his fitness.

The 30-year-old was left out of the Test squad due to a lack of runs in a drawn Ashes series, but national selector Ed Smith said the Cricket World Cup winner can still be a top player in the longest format.

England and New Zealand start the Test series at Mount Maunganui on November 21.

Pat Cummins will skip Australia's third and final Twenty20 against Pakistan with a view to being fresh for the first Test at the Gabba.

The star spearhead is remaining behind in Sydney as Australia travel to Perth for Friday's decider after taking a 1-0 series lead thanks to their commanding seven-wicket win on Tuesday.

Cummins claimed 1-19 from his four overs in Canberra but Australia are wary of adding to his heavy recent workload.

The world's top-ranked Test bowler played every match of Australia's Cricket World Cup and Ashes campaigns from June to September.

Australia head coach Justin Langer said: "We've got so much cricket on, he plays a lot of it, so when you get a little opportunity rather than taking the long flight to Perth [you take it]. He's going to stay here, recover and get prepared for the Test series."

Australia and Pakistan will have just under two weeks to warm up for the first of their two five-day fixtures following Friday's meeting at Optus Stadium.

Cummins could still take part in New South Wales' next four-day Sheffield Shield game against Western Australia, which begins on Monday.

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