Patel replaces Cairns

Jeetan Patel will debut for the BLACKCAPS in tonight's tri-series match against Zimbabwe after Chris Cairns was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

A specialist death bowler, Patel was selected for the tour with a view to the 2007 World Cup, where bowlers of his type have been successful at the end of an innings on dying wickets.

The right-arm off spinner's inclusion means the BLACKCAPS have two spin bowlers in their 12, although Patel or Vettori may play the role of super sub.

The BLACKCAPS go into the game as overwhelming favourites after their demolition of Zimbabwe in the opening match and their crushing Test series victory.

Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming is playing down talk of the team reaching 400 if they bat first. Fleming believes the conditions in Harare are far more suited to bowlers than they were in Bulawayo where the BLACKCAPS posted 397 off 44 overs.

The BLACKCAPS 12 are: S Fleming (captain), N Astle, L Vincent, H Marshall, C McMillan, S Styris, J Oram, B McCullum, D Vettori, S Bond, K Mills, J Patel

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