Reece Young replaces Gareth Hopkins for Pakistan Tests
Wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins, who had a poor tour of India, has been replaced by Canterbury's uncapped Reece Young in New Zealand's 13-member squad for the two-Test home series against Pakistan that begins on January 7. Offspinner Jeetan Patel and top-order batsman BJ Watling are the other players to be dropped from the Test side. Daniel Vettori will return to lead the team after missing the three Twenty20 matches that kick off the tour, beginning on Boxing Day, as he recovers from a back injury.
"We have kept faith with the majority of the squad who performed well in the Test matches against India and want to build on the positive steps the team took in that series," Mark Greatbatch, who was replaced as the team's coach by John Wright, and took over as the chief selector, said. "One new face is wicketkeeper Reece Young who gets a chance after performing well over a number of seasons at domestic and the New Zealand A-level. It's disappointing for Gareth Hopkins who misses out on selection."
In Vettori's absence, Ross Taylor will lead an inexperienced Twenty20 side that includes three new faces - Dean Brownlie, Luke Woodcock and Adam Milne, who is 18 years old. Brendon McCullum, whose participation in the early phases of the tour was in doubt following a back injury, has been included despite doubts over his match-fitness. Peter McGlashan is in the T20 side as a stand-by wicketkeeper, giving New Zealand the option of playing McCullum as a specialist batsman, as he has been doing in Tests for a year now.
"Dean Brownlie and Luke Woodcock have both enjoyed very good domestic form over the last couple of seasons and richly deserve their opportunity," Greatbatch said. "Adam Milne is a promising young bowler and we are keen to give him some early exposure in international cricket. He is a young up-and-comer with the potential to have a big impact in international cricket for many years. Twenty20 is the ideal format for the new guys to get some international experience and exposure.
"Brendon is keen to play and we are monitoring his recovery closely. He will undergo fitness testing later this week and we will make a call, closer to the start of the match."
Following the Twenty20s and the Tests, the teams will also play six one-dayers as their final preparation for the 2011 World Cup in the subcontinent.
Test squad: Daniel Vettori (capt), Brent Arnel, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Andy McKay, Tim McIntosh, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Reece Young (wk)
Twenty20 squad: Ross Taylor (capt), Dean Brownlie, Ian Butler, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (wk), Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan (wk), Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Luke Woodcock