England in New Zealand 2012-13 February 24, 2013

Rutherford and Latham in New Zealand Test squad


Hamish Rutherford and Tom Latham, both sons of former New Zealand Test players, will vie for one of the opening slots in the opening Test against England in Dunedin. Bruce Martin, the 32-year-old left-arm spinner, could also make his debut although there remains a chance that New Zealand will field an all-pace attack.

Martin Guptill's injuries - hamstring followed by thumb surgery - and Brendon McCullum's decision to drop down to No. 5 have created two opening vacancies. Peter Fulton, 34, will take one of the slots following an impressive Plunket Shield tournament in which he made 902 runs at 56.37 to leave him as the second-highest scorer. He last played a Test in 2009 but was due to open against South Africa before the recurrence of a knee injury forced him home. Either of the uncapped left-handers will join him.

Rutherford, 23, made his international debut in the Twenty20s against England and then replaced Guptill in the one-day squad. He has an overall first-class average of 42.42 and his previous three four-day innings for Otago, back in late January before he faced England, brought 90, 162 and 28.

Latham, 20, the son of Rod who played four Tests, is a wicketkeeper-batsman - which means New Zealand could field three glovemen in their XI including McCullum and BJ Watling - who has played eight ODIs and three T20s. He has been selected despite an uninspiring Plunket Shield where he made 480 runs in eight matches at 33.07.

Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, said: "We picked Peter to tour South Africa and he would have played there if he hadn't been injured. That leaves young Hamish and Tom to battle for the other opening spot. They've been in good form and are both products of our successful New Zealand A programme."

Rutherford and Latham will get the chance to face England for the New Zealand XI in Queenstown from February 27 and there is one place remaining in the Test squad which will go to a fast bowler playing in that match which means a likely call-up for either Mark Gillespie or Neil Wagner.

Tim Southee, who returned to action in the one-day series following a thumb injury, Doug Bracewell and Trent Boult are the established members of the bowling attack. Martin has been preferred over Jeetan Patel, the offspinner, for the slow-bowling place in the squad in the continued absence of Daniel Vettori. He sat on the bench during the South Africa Test series and although his 32 Plunket Shield wickets this season cost over 40 he is highly regarded on the domestic circuit.

Meanwhile, Luke Ronchi, the Wellington wicketkeeper, who had made a strong claim for a Test call-up by averaging 62.07 this season after qualifying for New Zealand, has been ruled out of the tour match in Queenstown with a hamstring injury he picked up in the final round of four-day matches. Watling, the Test wicketkeeper, takes his place which will provide him the chance to recover some form after a lean one-day series.

Squad (one more name to be added) Brendon McCullum (capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, Bruce Martin, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Caleb on February 25, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    To be completely honest I am very happy with this team. Yes I would love to see Guptil and Vettori playing but sadly we can't have them. Watling shouldn't open and deserves his spot down at number 6 or seven as he has proven over the past year. Fulton isn't a bad option, and has just edged out Redmond (unlucky for him). Fulton has made the most. As for the Rutherford vs Lathem debate: Rutherford has had a better run in domestic cricket averaging around 6 runs higher per innings and converting more scores into 100's and further.. Latham deserves a change but has a lot of time left in his career, however I don't think he is ready to be a test opener. The one thing missing from this team is an allrounder to bat at number 8 and be our spin bowler or 4th seamer. My team: Fulton, Rutherford, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Brownlie, Watling, Bracewell, Southee, Boult, Wagner/Ellis or Franklin (at 8 not a batsmen)

  • Stephen on February 25, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    I'm sorry but what ever happened to picking the most in form players available?

    Fulton makes sense and I have no doubt that Rutherford will be a good player, but on domestic form Redmond, Papps, Raval & How are all ahead of him at this time and should have been rewarded accordingly.

    I have no issue with Martin being picked, he's been the best performed spinner this season, 32 wickets in 10 matches @ 40.40 with an economy rate of 3.16 is streets ahead of Nethula 22 wickets in 8 matches @ 36.95, economy of 3.53 and Sodhi 20 wickets in 10 matches @ 44.80, economy rate of 4.07.

    If Ronchi was fully fit (hamstring) I'd of gone with him over Watling and given BJ first crack at openning due to his impressive batting in South Africa. No offence to BJ but Ronchi's a better batsman and keeper. And as mentioned elsewhere what happens when Ryder comes back with McCullum taking himself out of openning? Could Ryder potentially open the batting? I suspect not...

  • Andrew on February 25, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Two new openers - how fab! Nice to see BMac picking his own spot again after making such a fuss over wanting to open. And what happens when Ryder comes back? Utterly selfish decision by the captain and coach.

  • jared on February 25, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    The reason we loose so many tests are our batsman are too aggressive and our bowlers are too defensive. We have to swap this around some how, we pick too many holding up an end type bowlers like the vettori's, martin's, arnel's, instead of go for the throat types, then we pick our batters on the back of limited over form and wonder why they dont have the temperment or technique for test cricket. My team if fit 1. T.LATHAM 2. D.BROWNLIE 3. K.WILLIAMSON 4. R.TAYLOR 5. B.MCCULLUM 6. CARL. CACHOPA 7. B.WATLING 8. T.SOUTHEE 9. I.SOHDI 10. A.MILNE 11. T.BOULT. Of coarse straight swap with cachopa once ryder comes back, lathams talent is worth the punt, the best player of quick bowling and worst player of spin opening in brownlie and sohdi actually turns the ball.

  • Glenn on February 25, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    For once, its not a bad team. Lacks a real fast bowler, but hey those who can are all injured, so its not worth discussing. No one seems keen on young Rutherford, but in the tests I think he'll take his time. He seemed to get out in the ODI's when he thought he had to score faster. I think now is a good a time to put him in. Redmond has an average technique and has had a couple of chances to shine and hasn't. The middle order does look allot more solid and hopefully can score a few runs. Taking 20 wickets will be an issue, but if it swings we may do OK. Bruce Martin is an interesting call, should have played the last test in SA, but now can't take a wicket to save himself. Sodhi might be worth an experiment if Martin fails. I am also glad the selectors have finally realized Franklin is not a test standard player and that Flynn isn't either. sadly it took a while for the penny to drop. Although not anywhere near as good as he was as a bowler, we will miss Vettori's all round ability.

  • Dale on February 24, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    With the injuries I like this team - Fulton is a temporary selection and just edges out Redmond. Don't agree with calls for Flynn he has had so many chances. and barely averages 25. The English will bowl short to both Fulton and Rutherford who will need to patient and wear them down if they can. At least with McCullum and Taylor in the middle we have a bit of strength there with Bronwnlie and Williamsom as well. Martin is the next spinner of the block, they seem to be going through each and every spinner in the country and give them a couple of tests, drop them and then on to the next one. What are they going to do when they run out of different spinners to select - though Patel had to go, just wondering about what has happened to Astle and Nethula?

  • Jon on February 24, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    I don't have anything against Fulton, but we need someone who will put pressure back on the English bowlers. I can see Two-Metre-Peter fighting hard but don't expect to see runs flowing from his bat.

    I would have gone with Flynn and McCullum to open. I know McCullum should bat at 5 but under the circumstances (no Guptill or Ryder at the top of the order) I would have left him opening just for this series.

    Williamson, Taylor and Brownlie are obvious choices at 3, 4 and 5. I'd have Latham batting 6 with Ronchi at 7. Bruce Martin is just going to try and hold up and end - he's a temporary solution to the "Vettori issue" which will hopefully be sorted out in month or two. My seam attack would be Southee, Boult and Gillespie.

    Rutherford needs more time. I'd like to see him (and Bracewell) playing in England for a season, to expose him to that professionalism of week in-week out County Cricket.

  • Mark on February 24, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Good selection, on the whole. Fulton (along with Ryder) was a standout batsman in the first half of the Plunket Shield (the season was divided by the T20 tournament), after reinventing himself as an opener. He would have played in South Africa if he had not been injured. He has continued to perform well in domestic cricket and deserves his place. I would probably have gone for Redmond over Rutherford, but can understand the desire to blend youth with experience.

    After touring South Africa (without playing), BP Martin is next in line for the spinner's spot once Patel has been (deservedly) dropped. Still, I'd be tempted to go in with four seamers (+ Williamson), since that is where NZ's strength lies -- just don't think NZ are ever going to spin England out.

    Tom Latham is the surprising selection, since he hasn't been opening for Canterbury and hasn't had a great season overall. Still, he'll probably be carrying the drinks. There is no doubt he is an exciting prospect for the future.

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    Guptill, Watling, Williamson, Ryder, Taylor, McCullum, Brownlie, Vettori, Bracewell, Southee, Bolt/Wagner would be my ideal side.

    With all the injuries and ryder not being available, i would of liked to have seen this squad for the series...

    Raval, Watling, Williamson, Carl Cachopa, Taylor, McCullum, Brownlie, Ronchi, Bracewell, Southee, Bolt/Wagner.

    With Williamson and Raval to provide a bit of spin and cachopa with a few medium pacers.