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by John Pennington Saturday 25 January 2014
New Zealand have named an unchanged 12-man Test squad to take on India in two matches, the first of which starts in Auckland on 6th February.
The squad is identical to the one named for the second and third Tests against the West Indies late last year, both of which New Zealand won to claim a 2-0 series win.
However, Jesse Ryder has been added to the squad and will travel with the team as cover for Ross Taylor, whose second child is due to be born during the series.
Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford will play for a New Zealand XI which will take on the Indians in a two-day warm-up from 2nd February in Whangerai.
Anton Devcich is the only other player in the side with international experience.
"We’ve been really pleased with how this group of players has performed and they’ve been rewarded with consistent selection," New Zealand Cricket's Bruce Edgar said."There’s a lot of talented players in the wings, with the likes of Hamish Bennett, Jimmy Neesham, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder all pushing hard to be involved. That brings out the best in players, and poses some hard questions for Mike (Hesson) and I."We’ve made a lot of progress in the Test format recently and the two matches against India will be another chance to continue that development. India are a class side and will give us a good gauge of where the team is at."
Head coach Hesson added: "We were thrilled the way we played to beat the West Indies 2-0, but realise we’ll have to step it up another gear when playing India."It’s an exciting challenge and we look forward to giving it our all."
New Zealand Test squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Jesse Ryder, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson
New Zealand XI: Peter Fulton (captain), Roald Badenhorst, Jono Boult, Anton Devcich, Tipene Friday, Jono Hickey, Shawn Hicks, Iain McPeake, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Seifert (wicket-keeper), Ill Tugaga, Henry Walsh