Franklin An Option As New Zealand Bid To Hit Back
New Zealand could hand a recall to all-rounder James Franklin as they look to both overcome a poor recent Test record at the Basin Reserve in Wellington and then beat a resurgent Pakistan outfit and level their two-match series.
Pakistan produced an emphatic performance to win the opening match in Hamilton inside three days and New Zealand have won just three of 13 Tests - not including two innings defeats of Bangladesh - in Wellington.
With Pakistan yet to taste defeat at the venue, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has few answers to why his side's form at the Basin Reserve is so poor.
"I couldn't really say, I think the reason for loving it is that it's a pure cricket ground, you usually get a good knowledgable crowd, the facilities are great, and it just has that feeling you're here to play cricket and nothing else," he told New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) website (www.blackcaps.co.nz).
"It's a ground on days like this you love being here...I know the guys look at this as the home of cricket in New Zealand and really love coming here."
Vettori added that with Franklin offering both an option with the ball and the bat, he could well come into contention to play in the match, which begins on 15th January.
"Sometimes if you can have that extra bowler in the likes of a Franklin then it allows Chris Martin or Tim Southee to be even more of a strike bowler," he said.
"I thought they both bowled really well but they had a pretty big workload, so maybe the adition of Franklin would take a bit of that workload off and they would be fresher for it.
"I think whenever you get a player like James in terms of the allround package it's a real advantage so you always try to fit that type of player in the team.
"With the likes of Jesse Ryder not bowling and Kane (Williamson) not bowling as well as we would have liked in the last test, then the addition of an allrounder could be beneficial, but we will find out later on."
Franklin has played 26 Tests, scoring 644 runs at 21.46 and taking 80 wickets at 32.65 with his last Test appearance coming in Wellington in 2009.
Pakistan are expected to name the same team as they chase their first series victory overseas since 2002.
© Cricket World 2011