Matthew Bell and Paul Wiseman included in CLEAR Black Caps for First National Bank Test
Wellington opening batsman, Matthew Bell, has earned his recall to the CLEAR Black Caps for the first National Bank Series Test against Pakistan.
Bell has had an outstanding Shell Trophy scoring 844 runs including 5 centuries and achieving an average of 52.75. Bell's last Test was against India in India during November 1999.
The incumbent Test opener, Matthew Horne, was ruled out of contention earlier today when it was confirmed that he is suffering from a viral illness which has affected him throughout the Shell Trophy.
Paul Wiseman and Daniel Vettori return as the spin attack. It will be Vettori's first Test since injurying his back during the winter tour to Africa. Wiseman is included at the expense of Brooke Walker after taking 14 wickets at 36.00 in Shell Trophy. Both Wiseman and Brooke Walker played in the Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe.
The CLEAR Black Caps team for the first Test in the National Bank Series v Pakistan is:
Stephen Fleming (c) (Wellington)
Nathan Astle (Canterbury)
Matthew Bell (Wellington)
James Franklin (Wellington)
Chris Martin (Canterbury)
Craig McMillan (Canterbury)
Adam Parore (Auckland)
Mark Richardson (Otago)
Mathew Sinclair (Central Districts)
Daryl Tuffey (Northern Districts)
Daniel Vettori (Northern Districts)
Paul Wiseman (Otago)
The only other change from the Boxing Day Test is the exclusion of Shayne O'Connor who is injured. His place is taken by Daryl Tuffey.
The CLEAR Black Caps assemble on Sunday 4 March to participate in the State Backyard Test before heading to Auckland for their Test preparations.
The New Zealand selectors have today also named the New Zealand 'A' side to play Pakistan in a 3-day game prior to the first National Bank Series Test. The game will be played at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln University, from Saturday 3 March to Monday 5 March. The match was originally scheduled for 4 days but this was reduced by a day at Pakistan's request.
The New Zealand 'A' side is:
Jacob Oram (c) (Central Districts)
Chris Drum (Auckland)
Chris Gaffaney (Otago)
Richard Jones (Wellington)
Kyle Mills (Auckland)
Chris Nevin (Wellington)
Andrew Penn (Wellington)
Gary Stead (Canterbury)
Glen Sulzberger (Central Districts)
Lou Vincent (Auckland)
Brooke Walker (Auckland)
The coach/manager of the side will be New Zealand Cricket's technical advisor Ashley Ross.
Chairman of selectors, Sir Richard Hadlee said all the players selected for New Zealand 'A' have made an impact in Shell Trophy.
"Chris Drum and Andrew Penn are two very experienced bowlers. Drum particularly has had a very convincing year and these two are contesting the back-up position to the front-line Test bowlers. Similarly Gary Stead and Richard Jones are considered by the selectors as cover for the Test opening batsmen. All of the 'A' players are pushing for higher honours and now have an opportunity to impress against a quality international side."