England in New Zealand 2012-13 February 19, 2013

Ronchi gets chance to press case

ESPNcricinfo staff

Luke Ronchi, the Wellington wicketkeeper, will be able to press his case for selection in the England Test series when he captains a New Zealand XI in a four-day warm up match against England starting on February 27.

Ronchi, 31, is hoping to usurp BJ Watling behind the stumps for the three-match series which begins in Dunedin on March 6 although Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, has hinted strongly Watling will retain his role. Ronchi's domestic form is impressive with 760 runs at 69.09, including four centuries, in the Plunkett Shield - the fifth best return.

But the man in possession is 27-year-old Watling, who kept during the South Africa series. And despite New Zealand's miserable performance, Watling came out with some credit, making 42 in the first Test and two half-centuries in the second - one of only two players to score over 100 runs in the series.

The New Zealand XI features eight players capped by New Zealand including Dean Brownlie, who has established himself in the middle order. He was the other batsman not disgraced in South Africa with 172 runs at 43.00 in the two Tests. But his selection will offer England a chance to look at him in red-ball cricket ahead of the first Test.

Other players vying for selection include Hamish Rutherford, who will look to put himself forward for a Test debut. He has replaced the injured Martin Guptill for the second ODI and if he finds some form, could be preferred to Guptill, who has only one half-century in his last 12 Test innings, particularly if Guptill does not recover in time.

Another battling for fitness is Mitchell McClenaghan, the left-arm quick, who was ruled out of the final two ODIs with a side strain. His injury could give Neil Wagner an opportunity if he can impress against England in Queenstown.

New Zealand XI to play England (one more name to be added)
Luke Ronchi (c), Corey Anderson, Neil Broom, Dean Brownlie, Carl Cachopa, Mark Gillespie, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kd on February 21, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    did any of you watch Guptill in south africa ,hes not a test opener ,not at the moment anyway. Give Rutherford ago opening with BJ. Nz really needs a new spinner to take over from Vettori, Nat maccullam is not the answer.

  • rienzie on February 20, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    Has vettori retired? I think he needs to return.

  • Craig on February 20, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    What makes anyone think Ryder wants to play for NZ again? I think he is the most talented batsmen in NZ by a long way , but you cant lead a horse to water and make him drink. NZ team for the 1st test will be, Fulton, Guptil, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Brownlie,Watling(wk),N McCullum,Bracewell,Southee,Boult. The NZ team for the 3rd test will be ,Rutherford, Watling,Williamson, Taylor, McCullum,Latham,Ronchi(wk)Butler, B Martin,Southee,Gillesbie

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    1 Ronchi 2 Ryder 3 Guptill 4 Taylor 5 Williamson 6 B McCullem (floating) 7 Franklin 8 N McCullem 9 Southee 10 Boult 11 McCleneghan

    That's the bset NZ can field, and I'd use this line-up in both tests and ODI's. Talented, aggressive top 6, just missing a class bowler to compliment McCleneghan and Southee. Bond where art thou?

  • Brian on February 20, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    @Tom Bowler: If you call Ronchi promising, then you have a completely different view of a promising player compared to the majority of us this side of the Tasman. Having seen the majority of Ronchi's matches in West Aus, the word that immediately springs to mind for his performances over the last five years is 'disappointing'. Having said that however, I wish him all the best with NZ cricket.

  • Dan on February 20, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    NZ and England are both working out which promising new players they pick, England have the greater choice but you'd expect that with the relative populations. Contrast that with poor old Australia who have to decide which failure is going to get yet another go at proving they're not international class.

  • stew on February 19, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    watling should open with mccullum and ronchi should keep players should be picked on form and he is scoring loads. He is the best gloveman in the country. Watling is just a made up keeper and great keepers can at least be worth 2 dismissals more a test

  • Ed on February 19, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    What has happened to Taylors fielding - he's gone from one of the best - to shelling them left, right and centre ? His break form the game has ruined his catching, I make it that he's dropped five catches in two games ?

  • Dummy4 on February 19, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    Tom Latham is the future.

  • Dummy4 on February 19, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Well balanced side. We have a wee bit of depth.

  • No featured comments at the moment.