Tuesday 15 April 2014 

Craig, Ronchi In New Zealand Test Squad

Luke Ronchi
Luke Ronchi has played 19 ODis and eight T20Is for New Zealand but could make his Test debut in the West Indies
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Off-spinner Mark Craig and wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi are the two uncapped players in New Zealand's 15-man Test squad which will head to the West Indies in June.

Anticipating spin-friendly conditions, Craig joins Ish Sodhi in the squad as a specialist spinner with two all-rounders and three pace bowlers also selected.

The three-Test series gets underway on 8th June in Kingston, Jamaica before moving on to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad (16th-20th June) and Providence, Guyana (26th-30th June).

The Black Caps will then play two Twenty20 Internationals.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson confirmed that Ronchi has been included in the squad as a back-up wicket-keeper to BJ Watling, meaning Tom Latham is in as a specialist batsman.

"Luke also provides us with middle order batting cover as he’s a good player of spin bowling," he added.

On Craig's inclusion, he says that the Otago man will provide balance and is rewarded for a good first-class domestic season.

"Mark has had a strong Plunket Shield taking 22 wickets and his right-arm off-spinners will be valuable against their left-handed heavy top order batting line-up.

"He’s been in our sights for some time and was also chosen for our winter training squad."

Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel were unavailable for the tour, the former still not full

"While we gained a convincing 2-0 Test series victory against the West Indies in December they'll be a totally different kettle of fish in their conditions," Hesson added.

"And they’ll be driven to perform well in the first match which will be Chris Gayle’s 100th Test."

Doug Bracewell and Jesse Ryder were not considered for selection having failed to prove to the selectors that they have sufficiently dealt with off-field issues that led to them missing the ICC World Twenty20.

The selectors also confirmed that a small number of Twenty20 specialists will be added to the squad nearer to the T20 matches, which are on 5th and 6th July.

New Zealand Test squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Mark Craig, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson

© Cricket World 2014

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Fixtures & Results

8th-12th June: 1st Test, Kingston, Jamaica
New Zealand 508-7 dec. & 156-8 dec. beat
West Indies 262 & 216 by 186 runs
16th-20th June: 2nd Test, Port of Spain, Trinidad
West Indies 460 & 95-0 (Gayle 80no) beat
New Zealand 221 & 331 by 10 wickets
26th-30th June: 3rd Test, Barbados
New Zealand 293 & 331-7 dec. beat
West Indies 317 & 254 (Holder 52) by 53 runs
5th July: 1st T20I, Roseau, Dominica
New Zealand 117-4 (McCullum 40) beat
West Indies 132-7 (Fletcher 52) by 12 runs (D/L)
6th July: 2nd T20I, Roseau, Dominica
West Indies 165-6 (Fletcher 62) beat
New Zealand 126 (Cottrell 3-28) by 39 runs