In-form fast bowler Lockie Ferguson will be in contention for a Test debut against England after being named in the 15-man squad for the two-Test series starting from November 21, reports Cricbuzz.
"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," said selector Gavin Larsen.
"It's well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skillset and has proved his durability. 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 for 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 and will create some great competition."
The first Test will be played in Mount Maunganui before the action moves to Hamilton for the second Test. England have played five Tests so far in ICC World Test Championship and are fifth with 56 points. New Zealand, after playing two Tests in Sri Lanka, have 60 points and are second on the table behind India.
Ferguson is hoping to be a bowling manifestation of a cat unleashed among the pigeons should a Test debut materialise during the forthcoming two-match series against England.
"That's part of my role in the team ... to bring a bit of anxiety potentially by bowling extra speed," Ferguson said on Friday (November 15). "England have the same thing
with the Jofra Archers and the like and it does the same thing for both teams. Hopefully, I can showcase the talents I have.
"It [Test cricket] opens you up to different tactics in how you bowl at batters and putting them under pressure and potentially making them a little bit nervous about the short ball."
"It's definitely going to be a new challenge. Like all the formats, it took a step up from the domestic level. Fortunately, I've played quite a lot of these (England) players before, so it's not completely new. But the red ball is a whole different beast. It's the longer form both mentally and physically and so it's going to be a challenge for sure," Ferguson said.
"I understand what it takes to be a fast bowler at that level. You can't always go 100 per cent like you potentially can at one-day and T20. You have to pick and choose when to bowl quick spells and that's part of the learning process that I've been working to for a few years now. But at the same time, you have to be accurate. Personally, that's one thing I've worked on for a long time - bowling quick but making sure I'm putting it where I want to put it."
"We've got three internationally recognised world-class bowlers who have been doing an exceptional job and put us to No. 2 on the test rankings. That's awesome and it's great to be around those guys learning. It's going to be a tough team to break into but there's obviously a lot of Test cricket coming up," Ferguson said.