Bruce Martin, Hamish Rutherford and Tom Latham are all in line to make their Test debuts for New Zealand after today being selected in the BLACKCAPS squad for the opening ANZ Test against England starting on 6 March.
Martin, the 32-year-old left-arm spinner, was in the Test squad for the recent South African series but did not make the playing XI, while young batsmen Rutherford and Latham have only featured in the national strip in the shorter forms of the game.
Rutherford, 23, has been selected for the match at his home ground of Dunedin’s University Oval after his Twenty20 and ODI call-ups earlier this month, while Latham, 20, last played for New Zealand in the Twenty20 and ODI matches in Sri Lanka last year.
Opening batsman Peter Fulton, who suffered a knee injury before he could take the field in the South African Test series, has been recalled after last playing for the BLACKCAPS in a Test in 2009.
Twelve players have been announced today and another fast bowler will be added to the squad following the New Zealand XI four-day warm-up match against England starting on Wednesday in Queenstown.
BLACKCAPS squad for first ANZ Test:
Brendon McCullum (c) - Otago Volts
Trent Boult - Northern Knights
Doug Bracewell - Central Stags
Dean Brownlie - Canterbury Wizards
PeterFulton - Canterbury Wizards
Tom Latham - Canterbury Wizards
Bruce Martin - Auckland Aces
Hamish Rutherford - Otago Volts
Tim Southee - Northern Knights
Ross Taylor - Central Stags
BJ Watling - Northern Knights
Kane Williamson - Northern Knights
BLACKCAPS head coach Mike Hesson says he is keen to show consistency with his selections by retaining Brownlie, our best Test player in South Africa, and incumbent wicketkeeper Watling.
Hesson says that Fulton retains his spot in the side after some great form for Canterbury – averaging more than 50 in the Plunket Shield.
“We picked Peter to tour South Africa and he would have played there if he hadn’t been injured.”
“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 programme.”
Hesson also welcomes the return of the experienced pair of Ross Taylor and Tim Southee after both missed the South African series.
Bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan (side) and Daniel Vettori (Achilles), and batsman Martin Guptill (thumb) were unavailable for the ANZ Test series due to injury. Bowler Chris Martin (hamstring) was unavailable for the first Test.
For the full ANZ International Series schedule go to http://www.blackcaps.co.nz/schedule/the-anz-series-v-england/130/series.aspx