England announce Test squad for New Zealand tour
London : England dropped Ashes trio of Gary Ballance, Jake Ball and Tom Curran while including paceman Mark Wood and uncapped batsman Liam Livingstone for the two-Test tour of New Zealand in March.
Another surprise inclusion in the team was controversial all-rounder Ben Stokes, though his involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to a brawling incident in Bristol in September.
Despite their poor outing with the willow in the 0-4 Ashes humiliation against Australia, James Vince and Mark Stoneman have retained their places in England's Test squad.
Vince averaged 26.88 batting at number three in the Ashes and opener Stoneman averaged 25.77.
Commenting on the selection of Livingstone, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) national selector James Whitaker, said: "Liam has been a player that we have been impressed with for quite some time, having performed well in the county system with Lancashire and over the past couple of years with the England Lions."
"He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the Test arena," he added.
England face the Black Caps, who are one place ahead of them in the ICC Test rankings in fourth, in a day-night Test in Auckland from March 22-26 and then in Christchurch from March 30-April 3.
England squad: Joe Root (Captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.