April 2, 2003

TelstraClear Black Caps Test and One-Day International squads named for Sri Lanka

New Zealand Cricket chairman of selectors Sir Richard Hadlee today named the TelstraClear Black Caps Test and one-day squads for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.

The 14-man Test squad is:

Stephen Fleming (captain)
Shane Bond
Ian Butler
Robbie Hart
Matt Horne
Richard Jones
Jacob Oram
Mark Richardson
Mathew Sinclair
Scott Styris
Daryl Tuffey
Daniel Vettori
Lou Vincent
Paul Wiseman

Hadlee said Craig McMillan had been omitted from the squad because of his lack of form.

"Craig is a talented batsman who is currently out of form.

"We are confident he will work through this blip in his career and come back to make significant contributions for the TelstraClear Black Caps."

Hadlee said State Wellington Firebirds batsman Richard Jones had been rewarded for his consistent form in domestic first-class cricket over a three-year period since his shift from Auckland to Wellington.

"Richard has been near the top of the batting aggregates and averages in State Championship cricket for the last three domestic seasons.

"During that time he has scored seven centuries, averaged an impressive 42.9 and achieved an aggregate of 2111."

According to Hadlee the unavailability of Nathan Astle and Chris Cairns, and Craig McMillan's omission, had prompted the recall of Matt Horne.

"With those three players out of contention, Matt's experience will be of benefit on this tour.

"He has been in good form for the Auckland Aces and we want him to form a strong and steady partnership with Mark Richardson at the top of the order.

The need for a second spin bowler to take advantage of the Sri Lankan conditions had also prompted a recall for off-spinner Paul Wiseman according to Hadlee.

"We acknowledge that it's been a major struggle to find a consistently competitive spinner, besides Daniel Vettori, at the top level.

"However Paul has had success at Test level, including a five-wicket bag in an innings against Sri Lanka during our last tour there.

"He has the ability to take the ball away from Sri Lanka's numerous left-handed batsmen and will be looking for him to work in partnership with Vettori who takes the ball away from the right-handed batsmen."

The TelstraClear Black Caps are currently ranked third on the ICC World Test Championship rankings.

"This tour is a chance to consolidate our position although Sri Lanka will be a formidable Test opponent in their own conditions so the challenge is a tough one," Hadlee said.

"Despite some old faces returning, this team has a new look to it which we believe is exciting.

"However, without the experience of Cairns, McMillan and Astle the onus is on the players to mould themselves into a cohesive and competition unit very quickly."

The 13-man (with one further player to be added at the end of the Test series) one-day squad is:

Stephen Fleming (captain)
Andre Adams
Shane Bond
Chris Cairns
Chris Harris
Matt Horne
Brendon McCullum
Kyle Mills
Chris Nevin
Jacob Oram
Scott Styris
Daryl Tuffey
Daniel Vettori

Hadlee said the final place in the one-day squad would go to Sinclair, Vincent or Jones.

"Much like we did in the West Indies last year, when Scott Styris stood up and took the opportunity, we are going to leave that place open for the batsman that shows the application and form required in the Test series.

"McMillan's omission means there is a place for a batsman in the top-middle order and we hope that some healthy competition might emerge for that position."

Hadlee said Nevin was being reintroduced to the squad as a specialist opening batsman.

"Chris had a good enough domestic season to suggest he warrants a place in the side for his batting alone.

"He has shown in his international career to date that he can be explosive at the top of the order for short periods.

"As a specialist batsman we require him to occupy the crease for longer periods of time and to make larger and more significant contributions."

The TelstraClear Black Caps leave for Sri Lanka on Tuesday, April 15. The play two Tests followed by five One-Day Internationals.