Martin returns to New Zealand Test squad
Chris Martin was named in New Zealand's squad for the first Test against Australia but there was no room for the offspinner Jeetan Patel in a group heavy on fast-bowling options. New Zealand chose a 15-man squad for the first Test at the Gabba starting on November 20, although only 13 will travel to Brisbane.
Peter Fulton will remain in New Zealand to play domestic cricket and Gareth Hopkins, the backup wicketkeeper, will leave for Brisbane on the eve of the Test as cover for Brendon McCullum in the case of injury. A separate squad will be named for the second Test, which begins on November 28 in Adelaide.
The inclusion of Martin, who missed the recent tour of Bangladesh due to niggling hamstring and back problems, is a boost for an attack that features five fast bowlers. Spin was the key in Bangladesh, where the strike bowler Kyle Mills picked up only one wicket in two Tests, but Daniel Vettori is the only slow bowler in the team for the Gabba.
As expected, Jacob Oram was not selected as he continues to battle a back injury. Grant Elliott, who replaced Oram in the second Test in Mirpur, could get a chance to add to his two Test caps.
New Zealand's tour begins with a warm-up match against New South Wales in Sydney starting next Thursday. New Zealand have not won a Test in Australia since 1985-86.
New Zealand squad Aaron Redmond, Jamie How, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Peter Fulton, Daniel Flynn, Brendon McCullum (wk), Grant Elliott, Daniel Vettori (capt), Gareth Hopkins (wk), Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Mark Gillespie, Chris Martin.