New Zealand in England 2008 May 28, 2008

Bracewell has no plans to change batting line-up

Cricinfo staff


Tim Southee could come into the equation at Trent Bridge as the conditions are more likely to favour swing bowling © Getty Images
 

John Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, has confirmed the side will retain the same batting line-up for the third and final Test at Trent Bridge starting on June 5, despite their six-wicket defeat at Old Trafford. New Zealand's inexperienced batting was exposed after they capitulated for 114 in the second innings, squandering an imposing first-innings lead of 179.

Bracewell said the top three - Jamie How, Aaron Redmond and James Marshall - would be retained and was he willing to give Marshall more time to settle into his No. 3 position after scores of 0 and 28.

"We're not really concerned about our opening batters, they're making progress and we want to be consistent with that throughout this series, so Redmond and How will open in the next Test," Bracewell told NZPA. "We don't want to muck around with James Marshall by shifting him up the order, we want to secure him in that position as well. We don't want to be shifting guys in and out of positions when we're trying to develop a young side and try to build their confidence and experience."

Looking ahead to the three-day tour game against Northamptonshire starting on Friday, Bracewell said Peter Fulton would open the batting with Redmond, as cover for the injured How. How suffered a cracked left index finger in a fielding session during the second Test but is likely to be fit in time for Trent Bridge. Bracewell also confirmed that Jacob Oram, Chris Martin, Iain O'Brien and the captain Daniel Vettori would sit out the tour game.

New Zealand are still waiting on the fitness of batsman Daniel Flynn, who's yet to recover after being struck on the face while batting at Old Trafford. If Flynn isn't fit for Northampton, Vettori will come in.

On New Zealand's bowling composition, Bracewell said Tim Southee would have a chance to compete with O'Brien and Kyle Mills for two spots in the final Test. O'Brien was the most impressive of the seamers at Old Trafford with match figures of 4 for 111, including the wickets of the in-form Andrew Strauss in both innings.

"Northampton gives us a chance to look at some other players and bring them into Test contention, in particular Tim Southee, and see what option that gives us. I was pretty happy with what Iain O'Brien did, but the Trent Bridge surface and conditions indicate it does swing a lot more there, so that brings both Kyle and Tim back into contention and that makes those positions competitive."

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