Ryder sets sights on England series
Jesse Ryder, the New Zealand batsman, has kept the door open for a return to international cricket for the visit of England which begins with Twenty20 internationals in early February.
Ryder, who was dropped after an incident during the one-day series against South Africa last year and has not played since, has a meeting with the coach Mike Hesson on January 29 after the squad return from the tour of South Africa.
Ryder said he wanted to take himself out of consideration for the side for a period of time while he worked on various "issues" although he did play in the IPL. This domestic season he has been in impressive form for Wellington in all forms of the game; he has made 558 runs at 69.75 in five Plunket Shield matches, including three hundreds, and has amassed 508 runs in 10 innings during the HRV Cup at a strike rate of 167.65
"There is a meeting on the 29th coming up when the coach is back so we'll see how that goes," Ryder told New Zealand radio station LiveSport. "I'm definitely not ruled out for a return for England."
And Ryder, 28, confirmed he still has the desire to play in Test cricket as well as the shorter formats of the game. "Definitely all forms, especially Test cricket. That's the main goal for me to be a consistent Test player."
Without going into specifics about what he has dealt with over the last 10 months, Ryder believes he will now be able to cope with whatever pressures the game throws at him.
"I think I'll be fine," he said. "I've had a good 11 months off and worked on a lot of stuff...you're always going to have your failures in cricket. Hopefully I can be a little bit more consistent once I get back to the international stage."
The return of an in-form, and focussed, Ryder would strengthen a brittle New Zealand middle order which was harshly exposed in the two-Test series against South Africa. Ryder has played 18 Tests for New Zealand after making his debut in 2008 and averages 40.93 with a top score of 201. His stop-start international career, hindered by injury and discipline problems, has also restricted him to 39 ODIs and 20 Twenty20s.
Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, was in no doubt that he wanted Ryder back in the side but that the comeback should not be rushed.
"We would love to have Jesse in our team. He's got some issues that he's dealing with at the moment and he's making progress. But when he's fit and healthy and fine in his own space and performing as he is back home he'll be a vital member of the team."
Ross Taylor, the former captain who also took time away from the team after his controversial sacking, is expected to return for the matches against England. New Zealand were also missing Tim Southee and Daniel Vettori from a first-choice Test side for the series in South Africa.