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New Zealand have named their squad for the first Test against England, which begins on 6th March in Dunedin. Included are three uncapped players in the forms of Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham and Bruce Martin, while Tim Southee and Ross Taylor return after missing the Test series defeat to South Africa.
Latham and Rutherford will compete with veteran Canterbury opener Peter Fulton to form a new opening partnership owing to the absence of Martin Guptill with a thumb injury and the expected move for captain Brendon McCullum into the middle-order. New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said that Fulton and Rutherford are the most likely combination, with Latham, who has batted in the middle-order for much of the season for Canterbury, seen as cover for Fulton, who is still affected by the knee injury which ruled him out of the tour of South Africa.
“We picked Peter to tour South Africa and he would have played there if he hadn’t been injured,” Hesson said. “That leaves young Hamish and Tom to battle for the other opening spot. They’ve been in good form and are both products of our successful New Zealand A program.”
Elsewhere, Taylor returns and, along with McCullum’s demotion, will bolster the middle-order, while Bruce Martin replaces Jeetan Patel as the lead spinner with Daniel Vettori still sidelined by his Achilles injury. James Franklin has been dropped after failing to impress in South Africa, with New Zealand set to play a four-pronged attack in his absence.
A further fast-bowler will be added to the squad, according to New Zealand Cricket (NZC), after the four-day match between England and New Zealand XI in Queenstown, which starts on Wednesday. This means that the match will effectively represent a straight shoot-out between Neil Wagner and Mark Gillespie, who are the only other fast-bowlers in the squad for that game. Chris Martin was not considered for selection due to a hamstring injury, while Mitchell McClenaghan still has the side injury that he sustained during the ODI series.
New Zealand Test squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, Bruce Martin, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.
© Cricket World 2013
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