Selection feels ‘more real’ this time

Jacob Duffy reflects at the University Oval yesterday after having been announced in the Black...
Jacob Duffy reflects at the University Oval yesterday after having been announced in the Black Caps’ test squad to tour England for the World Test Championship final. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
This one is feeling a little more real for Jacob Duffy.

The 26-year-old was "over the moon" yesterday as he reflected on the news of being included in the Black Caps’ latest test squad.

He joins Rachin Ravindra as one of two surprise selections in the 20-strong squad to tour England.

There it will play two tests against the home side, before the World Test Championship final against India at Lords.

The right-arm seam bowler made his international debut against Pakistan in a twenty20 earlier this summer, taking four wickets.

However, his expectations of making the test squad had not been high and it was exciting to receive the call from coach Gary Stead on Wednesday morning.

"It’s very similar to when I made my T20 debut. There were a lot of messages back then and same again this time," Duffy said.

"Going on a test tour is pretty special and, not to say it’ll outdo that, but this one feels a bit more real and you’re part of the proper test squad."

Duffy, who is from Lumsden, has played 69 first-class games for Otago and New Zealand A.

He has taken 197 wickets at an average of 31.95 during that career, which stretches back to 2012 when he debuted as a teenager.

While having made the squad, he will face plenty of competition to make the playing line-up.

Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner have formed a strong trio for a long time.

Kyle Jamieson has been arguably the star of the past summer in the test arena.

Matt Henry and Doug Bracewell are also quality bowlers who will go to England.

While he would put his best foot forward, Duffy said it would be equally good to get in the environment and see those how those veterans operated.

"It’s a pretty settled team and they’ve obviously done pretty well.

"I’m pretty realistic about my position in the team, but to be part of that set-up is pretty cool.

"To see how Tim Southee goes about his work with the Duke ball in England, things like that are awesome. It’s nice to be part of it.

"Obviously, I got a bit of a taster of the Black Caps environment.

"I loved every minute of it, everyone was awesome. I could see why they’re so successful."

The seamer-friendly conditions and Duke ball would suit Duffy as well and he was excited to get over there.

"I’ve been over there a few years and played with the Duke.

"I’ve had good fun with it and it’s pretty awesome.

"Those conditions suit me very well and are probably part of the reason I’m on this tour to begin with."

The Black Caps’ tests against England begin on June 2 and 10 at Lords and Edgbaston respectively.

The World Test Championship final against India follows on June 18 at Southampton.

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