Fast-bowler Trent Boult and wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling have been ruled out of the New Zealand side for the first Test against West Indies, which begins tomorrow in Antigua. Both men were named in the Black Caps’ original 15-man Test squad back in May, but have sustained quad muscle injuries and missed the drawn warm-up match against WICB President’s XI.
Newly-qualified left-armer Neil Wagner looks inline for a Test debut after taking three wickets in that match and captain Ross Taylor said, “He has had to wait his time, [but has] got a very good first-class record and bowls with a lot of aggression. Neil has got a big chance to make his Test debut here in Antigua. He's an aggressive left-arm bowler who will be dangerous with the older ball as well, reversing it."
Defending New Zealand’s poor batting performance against WICB President’s XI, also in Antigua, Taylor added, “A warm-up game is a warm-up game. We got what we wanted out of it. We obviously would have liked a few more runs from our batsmen. We got two bats. We were lucky to come away with the draw but we had a good innings, most of the batsmen had a decent bat out there and the bowlers got a good trundle for one innings. We haven't played with the red ball for a while and it was good to spend a bit of time on our feet.
"[The openers] probably didn't bat as long as the middle-order, but they're good players in their own right and I'm sure they'll be looking forward to getting out there on this wicket. The ball is different; it does seem to swing a little bit more so we had to negate that early on and negate the West Indies fast bowlers."
First Test squad: Ross Taylor (captain), Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, Mark Gillespie, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tarun Nethula, Kruger van Wyk, Daniel Vettori, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson.
© Cricket World 2012
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