Friday 21 March 2008 

Oram Ruled Out, Southee And Elliot To Make Debuts

New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram has been ruled out of the third and final Test against England in Napier, meaning South African-born Grant Elliot will make his Test debut alongside teenager Tim Southee, who will replace Kyle Mills.

Southee replaces Mills, who succumbed to a knee injury in training before the match.

"It's obviously disappointing because they (Mills and Oram) have been two of our better bowlers and you throw in Jacob's all round capabilities and you take two very good players out of the side," captain Daniel Vettori told reporters.

"It'll be tough on them (Elliott and Southee) making their debuts on a wicket that won't help them, but we have all acknowledged they have some talent and were the next in line.

"It's just an opportunity for them to step up and show what they're worth."

Vettori added that they had considered picking Oram as a batsman only, but that plan was quickly ruled out.

"There is always that thought but he's not comfortable and not moving that well," Vettori added.

"He has had a pretty heavy (bowling) workload and in the second innings (in Wellington) he started to hurt a bit and it has got progressively worse.

"He bowled quite well yesterday but today couldn't really get through warm-up drills."

Jeetan Patel will replace seamer Mark Gillespie as New Zealand make three changes to the side that lost in Wellington.

The series is level at 1-1 with one match to play.

England look likely to retain the same team that did well in Wellington although Paul Collingwood is to undergo a precautionary scan on a calf muscle after being hit by the ball in Wellington.

New Zealand