New Zealand v West Indies, 1st Test, Dunedin December 2, 2013

Williamson ruled out of first Test

24

Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the opening Test against West Indies, in Dunedin, meaning a recall for Aaron Redmond after a gap of five years.

There had been positive vibes that Williamson would have recovered sufficiently from the broken thumb he sustained in Bangladesh - Bruce Edgar, the national selector, said he was at 95% last week - but it has been decided that it is not a risk worth taking at the start of a long home season.

Williamson batted in the nets without too much discomfort on Sunday, but following a fielding stint, his thumb began to stiffen up.

"It was pretty close, it was a tough decision, but in the end it was just a touch too early for Kane," Brendon McCullum said. "But Aaron has been in such good form and knows these conditions well. We thought he'd be the better option in this Test rather than force Kane back

"He batted yesterday in the nets and didn't feel a great deal of discomfort , but with then doing some fielding then going back into the nets it stiffened up. He probably could have played, but in the grand scheme of the season we have in front of us and how valuable he is to us we saw it as a safer option by allowing him to miss this one and give him another week to recover."

It means that Redmond will add to his seven Test caps, the previous of which came against Australia at Adelaide in 2008. He was the leading Plunket Shield run-scorer last season with 941 runs at 55.35, and was touted as an option for New Zealand when Peter Fulton was recalled to face England. This season he has begun in similarly healthy manner with 271 runs at 67.75 from two matches which again puts him top of the list.

"It's a nice story," McCullum said. "I thought he did a pretty good job for us when he last played and was probably a bit unlucky to have been axed back then. He had a tough year a few years ago when he was captain of Otago and his response since then has been brilliant. It's another one for the older guys in first-class cricket, showing that the door is never shut."

McCullum was also feeling more positive about himself, although conceded his back remained stiff. He admitted to some "dark thoughts" after returning from Bangladesh where the end of his career briefly passed through his mind. While he knows injury may yet curtail his playing days before he would like them to, he is now hungry to resume the challenge of improving New Zealand's Test standing.

"Post Bangladesh its been pretty well reported I took some time to have a think about things," he said. "I know my test performances haven't been up to standard of late. Couple that with the slight injury and you start to have some pretty dark thoughts but when took over this job had some big visions for this team and how I fitted into that.

"That certainly hasn't changed. Just because you go through a few tough times doesn't mean you should change your goals. I'm very determined to lead this team strongly from the front. And that starts with performance."

McCullum is also well aware of the chance presented to his team. Some of the West Indies players are still battling jetlag and there has been scant preparation time for those coming from India.

"It's a great opportunity for us. The placement of the Test match in Dunedin as well - while I'm very fond of Dunedin it's not the most tropical place in the world - and from where they're from they may not be entirely comfortably if we get those southerlies coming in. They are a very good cricket team and experienced in a range of conditions, so we are very respectful of how good they'll be but we do see it as a good opportunity to get us under way in the series and the summer."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jimbond on December 3, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Good news for NZ- it seems that given the average quality of WI bowling, Williamson has not been missed on the first day.

  • warneneverchuck on December 2, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    This shud be an interesting series considering both the teams have struggled recently. Looking forward to this

  • InsideHedge on December 2, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    I guess once you get a broken digit, it never really heals 100%. He'll have to tape that up carefully for the rest of his career esp when he's fielding. He'd also be well advised to order a custom pair of batting gloves that gives the ultimate protection to the thumb area.

  • on December 2, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    williomson was a key player and number 3 batsman

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    You don't have to field a strong team to beat Wes indies , the West Indies women can beat the men please don't worry kiwis

  • BRUTALANALYST on December 2, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    This is a huge loss for the Kiwis and neutral spectators disappointing I was really looking forward to he and Bravo's batting battle.

  • on December 2, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I'm sorry Karl... Have you seen Redmonds history for international cricket? Tried, tested and was horrificly bad for a top order batsmen. He wouldn't even make the Bangledeshy team.

    Your comment is like saying Mathew Sinclair should be called back into the test sqaud. Yeah sure Sinclair did amazing at the domestic level in NZ, but he could never do it for NZ outside of two innings. Redmond is aged, and has had his chance. At least Guptill has turned down IPL contracts to work on the red ball game. Putting country first and working on his game. I would prefer to see NZ stick it out and give him some more time. Mc Cullum has been just as bad, yet they have stuck with him through thick and thin.

    I'm sorry but at an average of 23 at international level for Redmond... He is not the answer. Despite 2 years of good form in domestic level... Just a no from me and most people.

  • on December 2, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    I like how Nathan notices Jeet Raval's runs but negates Redmond's consistency over the past two seasons and him scoring alot of runs in the Plunket Shield, not to mention scoring 67 in the warmup match. And no, Guptill has been tried and tested and not up to the mark when it comes to the red ball, opening or in the middle order. Do not equal limited overs form to Test form. Both very different games with tbh, very different balls that behave differently.

  • on December 2, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Seriously picking Redmond over Guptil who just smashed the English bowlers in England recently? Yeah sure his test background hasn't been amazing compared to his 2020 and odi form, but he is a much stronger pick than Redmond and Devcich.

    Jeet Raval has hit siblime form. Scoring a few 100's at this time of year in NZ conditions isn't exactly easy. Averaging 40 at his young age as an opener too... But yes, go with Redmond, keep digging NZ a bigger grave selectors.

    Thanks!

  • mtfb on December 2, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Common sense has prevailed. Good news for Yorkshire.

  • jimbond on December 3, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Good news for NZ- it seems that given the average quality of WI bowling, Williamson has not been missed on the first day.

  • warneneverchuck on December 2, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    This shud be an interesting series considering both the teams have struggled recently. Looking forward to this

  • InsideHedge on December 2, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    I guess once you get a broken digit, it never really heals 100%. He'll have to tape that up carefully for the rest of his career esp when he's fielding. He'd also be well advised to order a custom pair of batting gloves that gives the ultimate protection to the thumb area.

  • on December 2, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    williomson was a key player and number 3 batsman

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    You don't have to field a strong team to beat Wes indies , the West Indies women can beat the men please don't worry kiwis

  • BRUTALANALYST on December 2, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    This is a huge loss for the Kiwis and neutral spectators disappointing I was really looking forward to he and Bravo's batting battle.

  • on December 2, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I'm sorry Karl... Have you seen Redmonds history for international cricket? Tried, tested and was horrificly bad for a top order batsmen. He wouldn't even make the Bangledeshy team.

    Your comment is like saying Mathew Sinclair should be called back into the test sqaud. Yeah sure Sinclair did amazing at the domestic level in NZ, but he could never do it for NZ outside of two innings. Redmond is aged, and has had his chance. At least Guptill has turned down IPL contracts to work on the red ball game. Putting country first and working on his game. I would prefer to see NZ stick it out and give him some more time. Mc Cullum has been just as bad, yet they have stuck with him through thick and thin.

    I'm sorry but at an average of 23 at international level for Redmond... He is not the answer. Despite 2 years of good form in domestic level... Just a no from me and most people.

  • on December 2, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    I like how Nathan notices Jeet Raval's runs but negates Redmond's consistency over the past two seasons and him scoring alot of runs in the Plunket Shield, not to mention scoring 67 in the warmup match. And no, Guptill has been tried and tested and not up to the mark when it comes to the red ball, opening or in the middle order. Do not equal limited overs form to Test form. Both very different games with tbh, very different balls that behave differently.

  • on December 2, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Seriously picking Redmond over Guptil who just smashed the English bowlers in England recently? Yeah sure his test background hasn't been amazing compared to his 2020 and odi form, but he is a much stronger pick than Redmond and Devcich.

    Jeet Raval has hit siblime form. Scoring a few 100's at this time of year in NZ conditions isn't exactly easy. Averaging 40 at his young age as an opener too... But yes, go with Redmond, keep digging NZ a bigger grave selectors.

    Thanks!

  • mtfb on December 2, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Common sense has prevailed. Good news for Yorkshire.

  • RMCroos on December 2, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Good test series to watch both teams trying to come up in cricket very intrested series waiting for the results....

  • on December 2, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    Jeet Raval can't even make the NZ A team over players who average 14 (Devcich in 4 day cricket last season) so I can't see him being picked for NZ any time soon. How many young openers in NZ can average 40 at his age? Quite bizarre that he is continually overlooked as he is a tidy batsman. Redmond in over Guptill is the right call. Can't build for the future forever. Let's win now and pick the best.

  • hokeypokey on December 2, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    Redmond has got runs, and good on him..but just shows really how much faith hesson/edgar have in the nzA systems..I agree with kiwicricketnut completely. . The nz cricket team should smash the west indies, I just think theyve had a hard week just getting to the bottom of the world...

  • haegger on December 2, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    what happened to guptill?

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on December 2, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Odd playing a test match mid week. And we wonder why test matches get poor attendances. Keep going the way you have been and soon you won't have to worry about playing test matches ever again as you will lose your status.

  • 22many on December 2, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Head colds, wrong time zone, lacking sleep, green top, missing players, suspect actions,. if the Windies last three days it could be classed as a victory. Welcome to Otago.

  • kiwicricketnut on December 2, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    At least redmond is in form i suppose but i kind of agree with mthw, i think craig cachopa of auckland is the form batsman in the country and probably an even better prospect than his brother carl and should be given a chance soon, lets face it when williamson comes back for the next test redmond will be gone unless his otago mate hesson has ideas about ousting fulton, so what do we get out of giving a 34 year old a one off test, selectors have shown some faith in younger players like anderson, rutherford and sohdi so i wont give them too harder time but poor latham he must be the most unlucky player of all time, he was next in line a deserved that test spot but is continually over looked, this is poor from the selectors.

  • corzaNZ on December 2, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    I really cant see the point in Redmond being in the team, maybe its just the Otago boys club looking after each other again. Guptill could have come back into the team, i know his test form is horrible but he has experience against WI. The option i reckon they should have gone with though is Jeet Raval ,it would of been good exposure for him for when he takes over the opening spot from Fulton

  • Sachit1979 on December 2, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Due to absence of Williamson, Kiwis are not only going to miss their most consistent batsman (of recent times) but also a filler off spinner who has caliber to break crucial partnerships. His absence may force New Zealand to go with 5 regular bowlers Bracewell, Boult, Southee, Wagner and leg break bowler Sodhi otherwise he could have shared 5th bowler duties with Corey Anderson.

  • on December 2, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Would have preferred Dean Brownlie but congrats to Redmond on the recall.

  • Snowbadger15 on December 2, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    This is a big blow but at least someone in decent form will replace him. I am pleased bracewell isn't playing as he has contributed for a while now in the test arena. I expect McCullum to accumulate less the 60 runs across the match continually showing his lack of temperament and technique for tests. This is a good opportunity for Anderson to nail the no 6 and all rounder spot. Ish Sodhi also has the chance to claim the spinners spot and he should also bat at 8 because he looks a better batsmen than Southee who just slogs a few boundaries and gets out. Redmond will also be expected to bowl to ease the load on the specialist bowlers and I imagine Anderson will do something similar.

  • mthw on December 2, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    A absolutely howler of a decision to bring Redmond in. Yeah, let's bring in the 34 year old guy that has failed before... Guptill much more worth persisting with, and if he is injured, then surely bring in a younger guy for experience. We already went back to34 year old Fulton last year, we need to get a few youngerguys that will be there in ten years time like Williamson himself. A top 6 of Fulton, Rutherford, Redmond, Taylor, McCollum, Anderson doesn't inspire me for this test or for the future of New Zealand TEST cricket. A top 6 of Raval, Rutherford, Guptill, Taylor, Brownlie, C Cachopa does inspire me for the future of nz cricket in tests. I don't care if nz beats the windies this series or not,I don't care if they don' t win a series for a couple of years, but they must be building for the future not going back to past players, who didn't succeed in their mid twenties and won't succeed long term in their mid 30s.

  • jplterrors on December 2, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    In any other country Redmond wd have played 100 tests but still losing the best test #3 in the world isnt gd even against da Windies maaan.

  • on December 2, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    Hopefully New Zealand bounce back following a horrible series against Bangladesh.

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  • on December 2, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    Hopefully New Zealand bounce back following a horrible series against Bangladesh.

  • jplterrors on December 2, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    In any other country Redmond wd have played 100 tests but still losing the best test #3 in the world isnt gd even against da Windies maaan.

  • mthw on December 2, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    A absolutely howler of a decision to bring Redmond in. Yeah, let's bring in the 34 year old guy that has failed before... Guptill much more worth persisting with, and if he is injured, then surely bring in a younger guy for experience. We already went back to34 year old Fulton last year, we need to get a few youngerguys that will be there in ten years time like Williamson himself. A top 6 of Fulton, Rutherford, Redmond, Taylor, McCollum, Anderson doesn't inspire me for this test or for the future of New Zealand TEST cricket. A top 6 of Raval, Rutherford, Guptill, Taylor, Brownlie, C Cachopa does inspire me for the future of nz cricket in tests. I don't care if nz beats the windies this series or not,I don't care if they don' t win a series for a couple of years, but they must be building for the future not going back to past players, who didn't succeed in their mid twenties and won't succeed long term in their mid 30s.

  • Snowbadger15 on December 2, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    This is a big blow but at least someone in decent form will replace him. I am pleased bracewell isn't playing as he has contributed for a while now in the test arena. I expect McCullum to accumulate less the 60 runs across the match continually showing his lack of temperament and technique for tests. This is a good opportunity for Anderson to nail the no 6 and all rounder spot. Ish Sodhi also has the chance to claim the spinners spot and he should also bat at 8 because he looks a better batsmen than Southee who just slogs a few boundaries and gets out. Redmond will also be expected to bowl to ease the load on the specialist bowlers and I imagine Anderson will do something similar.

  • on December 2, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Would have preferred Dean Brownlie but congrats to Redmond on the recall.

  • Sachit1979 on December 2, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Due to absence of Williamson, Kiwis are not only going to miss their most consistent batsman (of recent times) but also a filler off spinner who has caliber to break crucial partnerships. His absence may force New Zealand to go with 5 regular bowlers Bracewell, Boult, Southee, Wagner and leg break bowler Sodhi otherwise he could have shared 5th bowler duties with Corey Anderson.

  • corzaNZ on December 2, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    I really cant see the point in Redmond being in the team, maybe its just the Otago boys club looking after each other again. Guptill could have come back into the team, i know his test form is horrible but he has experience against WI. The option i reckon they should have gone with though is Jeet Raval ,it would of been good exposure for him for when he takes over the opening spot from Fulton

  • kiwicricketnut on December 2, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    At least redmond is in form i suppose but i kind of agree with mthw, i think craig cachopa of auckland is the form batsman in the country and probably an even better prospect than his brother carl and should be given a chance soon, lets face it when williamson comes back for the next test redmond will be gone unless his otago mate hesson has ideas about ousting fulton, so what do we get out of giving a 34 year old a one off test, selectors have shown some faith in younger players like anderson, rutherford and sohdi so i wont give them too harder time but poor latham he must be the most unlucky player of all time, he was next in line a deserved that test spot but is continually over looked, this is poor from the selectors.

  • 22many on December 2, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Head colds, wrong time zone, lacking sleep, green top, missing players, suspect actions,. if the Windies last three days it could be classed as a victory. Welcome to Otago.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on December 2, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Odd playing a test match mid week. And we wonder why test matches get poor attendances. Keep going the way you have been and soon you won't have to worry about playing test matches ever again as you will lose your status.