New Zealand have been a competitive side despite a small pool of cricketers in domestic circuit but in recent times, situation is getting bad to worse. Since world cup in which they reached upto semi-finals, Kiwis have not achieved much barring a solitary test match win at Hobart. Can blackcaps turn the tables around as they embark on tough little Indian tour for two test matches? following is the squad selected, showing few changes than the group that was defeated 0-2 by West Indies last month..
It's New Zealand's batting that's not rising upto the challenge and they'll have their work cut out in spinning Indian conditions. Captain Ross Taylor played some good knocks in Caribbean, as did Martin Guptill, but none of them crossed the three figure mark. In fact, Kane Williamson is only New Zealand batsmen to score a century in test cricket in last five years! All these three promising batsmen, along with experienced Brendon McCullum and opener Daniel Flynn will have to make sure they put runs on board for the bowlers to have a say at Hyderabad and Bangalore.
BJ Watling is another talented that Kiwis are harnessing for a long time, without many fruitful results. He's also the wicket keeper but Kruger van Wyk seems to be doing the job for the time being, apart from holding his end with the bat.
James Franklin has been part of all previous four IPL seasons and seems like selectors paid value to it, adding him in place of Dean Brownlie. Franklin doesn't bowl much these days, so if he's to play one of two tests on this tour, it'll be as a batsman.
New Zealand bowling will depend on Doug Bracewell and Chris Martin. Bracewell is relatively new to test arena but bowls inspiring spells while Martin is most experienced among all of them. Then, there're Neil Wagner and Trent Boult, two left arm seamers with different attitudes. Wagner likes to talk and challenge the batsmen, no matter who they are, while Boult has a beautiful action and can swing the ball.
These four certainly give a good look to visitor's seam bowling, to go with Tim Southee, but conditions may suit the spinner, and hence we find Jeetan Patel returning to national squad once again, replacing Danile Vettori who's suffering from goin injury. Leg spinner Taran Nethula also holds his place, but is unlikely to make his test debut on the tour.
"The tour of India will be a great challenge and experience for this squad," the national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said. "Unfortunately Daniel Vettori won't recover in time for the Test series but his injury has created and opportunity for Jeetan Patel to come back into the side. Jeetan has been in great from for Warwickshire and deserves his opportunity.
"James Franklin has been brought into the squad to bolster the batting. He brings a lot of experience and knowledge of playing in Indian conditions which will be invaluable. Dean Brownlie misses out on selection. We continue to see him as player of the future but at this stage we feel he needs to works on parts of his game. There's no doubt he will work hard to regain selection."