Papps returns to New Zealand Test team
Michael Papps will replace Jamie How at the top of New Zealand's order for their Test tour of South Africa in November. Kyle Mills has been named after recovering from his knee injury and Ross Taylor is in line for his Test debut but there was no space for Lou Vincent or Craig McMillan in the 15-man squad.
Mathew Sinclair was also overlooked despite playing New Zealand's last two Tests, against Sri Lanka in December. Combined with the retirement of Nathan Astle, the changes mean the line-up that faces South Africa will be a very different one to that which drew the Sri Lanka series.
James Franklin, the left-arm fast-medium bowler, was left out as he continues to recover from a knee injury, although the selectors hope he will be available for the one-day series that follows the two Tests. Mills has not played since the CB Series in Australia in January and will be thrilled with the call-up after resigning himself to a comeback through Auckland this coming season. Mark Gillespie has been recognised for his strong first year of ODI cricket and could make his Test debut.
Craig Cumming has retained his spot despite not earning a national contract this season, while Papps pushed in front of How after an outstanding domestic campaign for Canterbury in 2006-07 when he led the State Championship run tally with 1005 at 91.36.
"The selectors are looking to form a quality opening partnership," New Zealand's coach John Bracewell said. "Cumming is the incumbent and is acknowledged as a quality player of pace, while Papps is being rewarded after an excellent domestic season."
Daniel Vettori will be leading the side for the first time in Tests, while Stephen Fleming has been included in the unfamiliar role of batsman only.
The players depart on October 18 and have two warm-up matches before the two Tests at Johannesburg and Centurion, the first of which starts on November 8. A Twenty20 international and three ODIs follow but the limited-overs squad will not be announced until after New Zealand A's practice matches against Australian state sides in Queensland next week.
Squad Craig Cumming, Michael Papps, Stephen Fleming, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Peter Fulton, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum (wk), Daniel Vettori (capt), Kyle Mills, Shane Bond, Mark Gillespie, Jeetan Patel, Michael Mason, Chris Martin.