New Zealand call on rookies for big test
New Zealand will bring two uncapped players in Trent Boult and Brendon Diamanti to Australia for next month's five-match Chappell-Hadlee Series. Boult, a left-arm fast bowler, is only 19 and is part of the 14-man squad that will attempt to forget the 2-0 defeat in the Test campaign late last year.
"Trent has been impressive in his first season in the State Shield, with 13 wickets at an average of 23.84," the selection chairman Glenn Turner said. "He's also performed well for New Zealand A and the national Under-19 side and we believe he's ready to step up to the top level."
The allrounder Diamanti comes in for Jacob Oram, who is again struggling with injury after picking up a heel complaint during the 2-1 series win over West Indies earlier in the month. Oram also missed the Test series in Australia due to problems with his body.
"Brendon has impressed with his big hitting in the middle to lower order," Turner said. "His 28 off nine balls for Central against Canterbury earlier this month was an outstanding match-winning knock. He's also an experienced go-to bowler, he has variation with the ball that's especially valuable in the Powerplays."
Peter Fulton's strong performances for Canterbury should lead to opportunities in the middle order and Iain O'Brien has been recalled to the one-day team for the first time in almost a year. "Iain showed good form in the Test series and has carried that into the State Shield," Turner said. "He's done well in successfully adapting to the limited-overs game, bringing in more variation in pace."
The tour opens with a warm-up match against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on January 29 before the first ODI in Perth on February 1. "We're treating this somewhat like a home series," Turner said. "We may look to bring players in and out of the squad as required."
New Zealand squad Daniel Vettori (capt), Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Brendon Diamanti, Grant Elliott, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (wk), Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.