Ace Kiwi all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme likely to make comeback for England tour

The strongly-built New Zealand all-rounder, Colin de Grandhomme, has been missing from action for over a year. His last appearance for his country was in March 2020 and thereon he picked up an ankle injury that required a long and arduous recovery process. 

Ace Kiwi all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme likely to make comeback for England tour

In 24 Tests, Grandhomme has scored 1185 runs with an average just shade above 37 and he has one century and eight fifties to his name. Grandhomme has taken 47 wickets at an average of 31.63 and his best figures are 6/41 in the longer format. 

His record speaks volumes about his utility for Kiwis and being a gutsy batsman down the order, New Zealand would like to have him in the side for the two Tests ahead of the all-important high-octane ICC Test Championship final.

New Zealand is set to lock horns with England for the inaugural edition of the ICC Test Championship final for which the squad will travel to England in May. Special provisions have been made to allow New Zealand players to get the COVID-19 vaccine jab at the earliest. 

"Since I've had the surgery the ankle has felt real good and it seems to keep getting better and it feels normal again for a change. Looks like I'm tracking well at the moment and should be ready to go for ball one if I'm needed," Grandhomme quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

The deck-hitting enforcer, Neil Wagner, is keen on having good control over the Duke ball and acclimatize to the conditions quickly. Wagner boasts a superior record in Tests; he has snared 219 batsmen and maintained a superb average of 26.33.

"It's got a little bit different characteristics to what a Kookaburra does so just trying to get used to it and adapting to the different things we'll come across in England," Wagner said.

"Not getting too far ahead of yourself with a Duke ball that tends to swing around a little bit and try too hard," he added.

Wagner feels a lot is riding on the players' shoulders and it's an important contest that will shape their careers. 

"Having played there in the past, and a number of us now, it's good that we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in our group to draw back on. Every time you go back there are new things to learn, so to be able to put that into place for what is arguably the most important time of our careers we are really excited about," said Wagner.