England announce Test squad for New Zealand tour

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Ben Stokes has been named in England's provisional test squad for their two matches against New Zealand in March. Test Match cricket is the pinnacle and something that every player works towards throughout their career.

Prior, who played the last of his 79 Tests in 2014 before persistent achilles trouble forced his retirement, believes that many of these players know they have no chance of England recognition and lack the desire for self-improvement as a result.

Lancashire's Liam Livingstone has been called up for the first time to replace Gary Ballance - otherwise the Ashes squad is retained.

Trevor Bayliss liked the cut of his jib as soon as he saw him in T20 last summer but it took the selectors a little longer to bring him into Test cricket.

Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone got his first call-up.

The MCG Test was the last Test to be rated under the current ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, with a revised process coming into effect in men's and women's worldwide cricket from January 4, following the conclusion of the New Zealand versus Windies T20I series, which ends in Mount Maunganui on Wednesday.

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Now, he's been dropped without firing a shot for the New Zealand series. To average over 50 in the Specsavers County Championship batting at three shows the technique and temperament he has. "It follows on from Haseeb Hameed's England debut in India in 2016 as well as having five Academy graduates (including Livingstone) in the England Lions squad for the West Indies tour in February and March".

"Unfortunately, they miss out on selection for New Zealand".

The 24-year-old Lancashire captain has been on the radar of the national selectors for some time - with former England coach Andy Flower, now in charge of the Lions, also a fan. "He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the Test arena", he added.

Moeen Ali impressed with the ball but again struggled with the bat, making just one before he was dismissed by seamer Gabe Bell.

It proved to be a testing welcome to the elite for Crane, who finished with figures of 1-193 as England lost by an innings and 123 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.