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Black Caps call for Raval

Sky Sports Sky Sports 10/06/2016
Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

New Zealand have called up uncapped opening batsman Jeet Raval for their tour of southern Africa in August.

The left-hander is the only new face in the squad for the tour, which takes in two Tests against Zimbabwe in Harare and two more against South Africa in Durban and at Centurion.

Raval, 27, has a first-class career average of 43.85, but averaged 55.71 last season while making three centuries and helping Auckland to the Plunket Shield title.

"Jeet has been impressive in the Plunket Shield for a number of years now and in the past 12 months we've seen his maturity and decision-making continue to improve," said New Zealand coach Mike Hesson.

"He's learnt to adapt to conditions and has performed well for New Zealand A, so we believe he's more than ready to make the step up to the international arena."

With New Zealand expecting significant turn on low, slow pitches in Zimbabwe, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi joins slow bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner and off-spinner Mark Craig in the squad.

Five front-line pace bowlers have been selected for the quicker wickets in South Africa.

"Playing two tests in Harare, we need to be prepared for dry turning surfaces, but also know Durban often has a good covering of grass," Hesson said.

The team will spend eight days in South Africa before the first Test against Zimbabwe starts on July 29 in Harare. The second Test is at the same Harare Sports Club from August 6.

Kane Williamson's side then play South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban from August 19 before ending the tour with the second Test in Centurion from August 27.

New Zealand: K Williamson (captain), T Boult, D Bracewell, M Craig, M Guptill, M Henry, T Latham, H Nicholls, L Ronchi, J Raval, M Santner, I Sodhi, T Southee, R Taylor, N Wagner, BJ Watling.

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