Tom Latham, a left-handed batter, has been selected New Zealand’s captain for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh, which begins on New Year’s Day at Bay Oval.

Due to the absence of regular captain Kane Williamson due to an elbow injury, Latham will lead the side for the first time for a whole series, having previously stepped in to fill the job on four occasions. In the second Test against India in Mumbai earlier this month, the top-order batsman led the side. Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Kyle Jamieson, and Matt Henry have been chosen in the pace attack by the hosts, while Devon Conway has returned to the side after suffering a hand fracture in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England in November.

Because there isn’t enough in the 13-man squad for a specialist spinner, Ajaz Patel was left out despite his heroics in India, where he became only the third bowler in history to take all ten wickets in a Test inning. Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell are the all-rounders for spin and seam.

Coach Gary Stead was convinced that both Bay Oval and Hagley Oval had all bases covered. “It’s nice to be back home and at venues we’re familiar with, and where we’ve had recent success,” Stead remarked.

“It’s certainly frustrating that Kane won’t be available for this series, but as we mentioned in India, he’ll be resting for a while before rehabilitating, strengthening, and gradually increasing his batting load. We have complete faith in Tom to lead the side, as he has done so in the past when called upon.

“You feel bad for Ajaz after his world-record-breaking performance in India. “However, we’ve always adopted a horses-for-courses selection strategy, and we believe the players chosen best fit the way we want to face Bangladesh at home,” he said.

New Zealand Test Squad: Tom Latham (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Will Young