New Zealand Cricket has announced the BLACKCAPS squads for the final One Day International and for the first Test in the three-match series against India.
The squad of 12 for the fifth ODI in Auckland on Saturday is unchanged from the side which played at Hamilton on Wednesday. Ian Butler remains unavailable due to injury.
A squad of 13 has been named for the first Test, which begins in Hamilton on Wednesday 18 March.
The Test squad is:
Daniel Vettori (captain)
Northern Districts bowler Brent Arnel is the newcomer to the BLACKCAPS side. A right-arm medium-fast bowler, Arnel played for New Zealand A in 2008 against India A, and in this season’s New Zealand A series against the England Lions.
Head of the selection panel Glenn Turner said Arnel has been the best performing bowler in the A side against the Lions. “He’s bowled well consistently over a period of time, and has the advantage of having done quite a bit of bowling in recent four-day matches.” Turner said.
Auckland batsman Martin Guptill earns his first Test callup after a string of solid scores at the top of the order in New Zealand’s ODI and T20 series this summer.
James Franklin also returns to the BLACKCAPS side on the strength of good performances for New Zealand A, including an innings of 92 in the first four-day game against England A. Turner said Franklin comes in as an all-rounder, effectively taking Jacob Oram’s place.
Oram was not considered for the first test squad, Turner said. “He has made good progress in recovering from injury, but Jacob is not yet fully confident that his body would stand up to rigours of a five-day game. He now has the opportunity to play some four-day cricket for Central Districts – and he may well come into consideration for the later test matches.”
Franklin's place in the New Zealand A squad for the Twenty20 game against the England Lions will be filled by Scott Styris, while Otago bowler Warren McSkimming comes into the A side for Arnel.
New Zealand and India play three Tests to conclude the National Bank Series, at Hamilton from 18 to 22 March, Napier from 26 to 30 March, and Wellington from 3 to 7 April.