Mills to start in Centurion

Kyle Mills will start the first Test between the BLACKCAPS and South Africa at Centurion after Shane Bond failed to recover from a painful inflammation on his right knee.

Bond sustained the injury during the domestic season and it surfaced again in the warm-up match at Benoni.

BLACKCAPS general manager Lindsay Crocker said:
“He hasn’t responded to treatment as we would have liked. He will have an MRI scan this weekend to determine the extent of the inflammation and therefore the best course of management. Only then will we be able to gauge the likelihood of his availability for the second Test.”

The rest of the 1
2-man match squad announced yesterday will start, meaning a recall for swing bowler Mills.

The State Auckland Ace acted as cover for Bond in the second Test against the West Indies in Wellington last month, coming in late to take six wickets for 82 in the match.

All-rounder Jacob Oram returns to Test side for the first time since October 2004, the other change to the team selected to face the West Indies at Napier last month.

South African captain Graeme Smith is confident that he will be able to play despite a finger injury. Garnett Kruger (shoulder) is ruled out, but Andre Nel plays despite a similar injury.

The match could see a number of landmarks passed by some of cricket’s leading players.

BLACKCAPS skipper Stephen Fleming is set to make his 100th Test appearance, as are Proteas duo Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock.

Vice-captain Daniel Vettori can join Kallis and compatriots Richard Hadlee and Chris Cairns with 200 wickets and made 2000 runs.

He is currently 56 runs short of the mark, while Kallis is also only four wickets short of the ‘all-rounders double’, of 3000 Test runs and 200 Test wickets, which Hadlee and Cairns have also surpassed.

BLACKCAPS: Stephen Fleming (captain), Daniel Vettori (vice-captain), Nathan Astle, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Hamish Marshall, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris.

Live scoring and reports on all three of the BLACKCAPS' Test matches in South Africa will be available on

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