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Cricket news - Colin de Grandhomme on track to be fit for England tour

Colin de Grandhomme last played for the Black Caps before last year's lockdown.

Colin de Grandhomme last played for the Black Caps before last year's lockdown.

Colin de Grandhomme has had a tough year. He last played for New Zealand in March 2020 and had to undergo an ankle surgery that has kept him out of the international circuit since. On Tuesday (April 20), supporting a retro haircut, de Grandhomme wore a wide grin as he returned to training hoping to be fit for the tour of England.

De Grandhomme featured in domestic cricket as a specialist batsman and decided to undergo the surgery to be in better shaping after the injury continuously put him on the sidelines. "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," he said. "Looks like I'm tracking well at the moment and should be ready to go for ball one if I'm needed."

New Zealand will look to prepare for the World Test Championship final over the two Tests against England and acclimatise to conditions. The squad will leave mid-May and will train in a camp before that. Left-arm seamer Neil Wagner, who is going to be crucial to New Zealand's chances of winning the final, acknowledged the focus is now on adapting to the Duke ball.

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

"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."

New Zealand players have also been granted early access to the COVID-19 vaccine with Wagner being last of the New Zealand based player to get the jab. "We're really grateful for everything the government has done to this point, firstly in helping us host a safe and successful home summer of international cricket, and now assisting us to access the vaccines in time to tour," he said.