England in New Zealand, 2012-13 February 25, 2013

I'm a bit more versatile now - Fulton

ESPNcricinfo staff

Peter Fulton has admitted he has "a pretty average" Test record, but hopes a new found versatility will help him grasp his latest opportunity in international cricket. Fulton has not played a Test since December 2009 but, having enjoyed a fine run of form in domestic cricket, finds himself back in the New Zealand Test squad to face England.

Fulton has averaged just 20.93 from his first 10 Tests but, as the second-highest run-scorer in this season's Plunket Shield, has forced his way back into contention. Fulton scored 902 runs in nine Shield matches, with three centuries, seven half-centuries at an average of 56.37. Had the recurrence of a knee injury not forced him home, he would have opened the batting during the series against South Africa.

"Getting selected is great, but now I need to work hard, play well and score runs to keep myself in there," 34-year-old Fulton said. "I've always looked at my international career in two parts. There's the ODI stuff, where I played 49 games and compiled a pretty handy record. Then there's the 10 or so Tests I played. I never really got going and had a pretty average record.

"I do think my game has changed a bit though and I'm a bit more versatile now. I've scored a few runs this season, some quite quickly and some I've really had to grind out."

He is not the only mature face in the New Zealand squad. Bruce Martin was first called into the New Zealand squad as a teenager in 2000 but, 13 years later and aged 32, remains without an international cap. Now, like then, he owes his call-up in part to injury to his fellow left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori but, while he missed out to Darly Tuffey on that occasion, looks certain to play this time.

Martin's Plunket Shied record this season is modest - he averages 40.40 runs per wicket - but, having narrowly missed out to Jeetan Patel for selection in the Tests against South Africa - will play unless New Zealand opt for an all-seam attack.

"I worked hard in South Africa and I was disappointed I didn't get a run there," Martin said. "I knew I was thereabouts and I had to keep working hard. It was still a nice surprise. It's going to be good fun and I can't wait.

"I like to be attacking rather than hold up an end, I'll be looking to take poles and bowl to some pretty attacking fields."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • stuart on February 26, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    Good luck to you mate.You will need it

  • Drew on February 26, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Congrats to B.Martin, well deserved I think. I have no idea why Flynn didn't get picked, he always guts it out in the middle. Even if he would only score 20 runs in 200 balls. Maybe NZC are not willing to pay his dental work this time around?

  • Anupam on February 26, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    NZ is having only one problem Guess What? batting- no, bowling- no the answer is INJURY. If they sort out this problem then DEJA Vu for NZ. If we Compare the number of matches played including International & domestic + (IPL, BPL, BBL) of ENG, AUS, IND, SL,SA, WI, PAK aginst NZ then NZ is far behind BUT if we look at the injuries NZ is on top. Kiwis don't only face injuries but career threating injuries or very very long injuries. Only Fleming & Vettori is good enough.

  • Matthew on February 26, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    @gothetaniwha - oh I don't know. There are probably a good few out there (Graham Gooch immediately springs to mind for me), and there are quite a few players who are regarded as being real veterans but who are maintaining high standards such as Shiv Chanderpaul. Now I'm not going to compare Fulton to the likes of Shiv but I don't think age should necessarily be a barrier to selection, especially if the side (in this case NZ) are struggling and some of the younger players are perceived to have failed, or are not seen as able to take the step up to international cricket just yet. Fulton is no Alastair Cook but he might serve as a decent stop-gap until one of the younger players such as Jeet Raval or Tom Latham are deemed ready for selection in the first XI. I actually thought Aaron Redmond might've been another good pick as he also contributes a bit spin bowling to the equation. I know he's hardly frontline but his career average isn't that much worse than the likes of Patel and Martin.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    @gothetaniwha.. You are exactly right, couldn't agree more. They either need to send our best players oversea's to play or make it compulsory to have an import fast bowler in every team. NZ needs to get use to express pace & short pitch bowling.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    hmm test series 3-0 england New Zealand yet again going back to the past with fulton good luck to the bloke but i think he will struggle. My New Zealand team to play England 1. Latham 2. Rutherford 3. K Willamson 4. Ross Taylor 5. Dean Brownlie 6. Brendon Mccullum 7. BJ Watling 8. D Bracewell 9. T Boult 10. T Southee 11. M Gillespie/N Wagner. Wouldnt pick bruce martan but they will pick him in the 11 the reason why is because i dont think he is really going to threaten England if he plays 3 tests he will get 4-5 wickets average of 60-70 . New Zealand need an all rounder at 8 and that would be vettori if he was there New Zealand should persist with Colin Munro and have him at 8 in the meantime to bolster the batting and move everyone else down 1 Bracewell has been exposed at test level but in the future hopefully his batting gets to a point where he can bat 8. Interesting to see how Dean Brownlie goes against the English if he has a dismal series i would look at getting Carl Cachopa in

  • John on February 26, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    No-one should ever belittle New Zealand. With a tiny population (Mumbai alone has 4 times as many people as the whole of NZ) they manage to be competitive in numerous sports- rugby, sailing and cricket to name but a few. England, with a large and well-developed cricket infrastructure, had to battle to its utmost to get 2-1 series wins in the shorter formats.

    I think everyone would agree that England are favourites to take this series, but you can bet that NZ will make it tough. Good luck to Fulton and Martin, their persistence has paid off late in their careers with call-ups to the test squad and, should they play, I'm sure they will acquit themselves well.

    The fans who comment on these games, including myself, sometimes forget what an honour it is to represent your country and how hard it is to reach that elite level. Congratulations to Fulton and Martin- you did it!

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    I think Gooch improved after 34?

  • Robin on February 26, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    Good God, no! If the selectors are going to pick a tried and failed opener, at least go for Redmond, who has had an equally succesful domestic season AND, can bowl. We will need his spin bowling and Williamsons to back up the journeyman debut of B Martin. Another bold and progressive step by the selectors. Bruce has had 12 odd seasons to demonstrate he is something special in one of the worlds worst first class stages, and his figures are just, well, just, blah.

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    @gothetaniwha that one player is MISBAH UL HAQ

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