New Zealand v Australia, 2009-10

Sinclair recalled after two-year absence

Peter English

March 14, 2010

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Mathew Sinclair drives during his 47, New Zealand v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Wellington, 2nd day, January 13, 2008
Mathew Sinclair has not played a Test since March 2008 © Getty Images
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New Zealand have gone back to a familiar but inconsistent batsman in Mathew Sinclair as they attempt to challenge Australia in Friday's opening Test in Wellington. Sinclair, 34, is a chance for his sixth return to the XI after coming into the 13-man squad for Neil Broom on the back of a strong domestic season for Central Districts.

Sinclair has been elevated to cover for the top order and is a strange choice given the assignment is against the world's No. 3-ranked side. Sinclair scored two double-hundreds at the start of his career, but he played the last of his 32 Tests in March 2008. In eight matches against Australia he has managed only one half-century and an average of 14.13.

"We felt we needed a cover top-order batter, rather than cover for our middle order, so Neil is a little unlucky in that respect," the coach Mark Greatbatch said. "[Neil's] form is not quite as good as it was in February."

Sinclair's best chance is if the selectors lose faith in his Central Districts team-mate Peter Ingram, the No.3, who was dropped during the one-day series after limited-overs returns of 2, 0, 40, 14 and 5. Sinclair, who has 638 Plunket Shield runs at 58.00 this season, appears more likely to come into serious consideration for the second game if there are problems at the top at the Basin Reserve.

The doubts over New Zealand's limited batting options mean Daniel Vettori will enter at six after doing the job in the past two Tests. Vettori, who is usually a No.8, posted 134, his fifth century, against Pakistan in Napier and added 10 and 13 against Bangladesh.

"It gives a very good balance to our side," Greatbatch said of Vettori's promotion. "It enables us to play the five bowlers we are looking for, whether that is four seamers and one spinner, or three seamers and two spinners. We have the ability to be flexible."

New Zealand have a developing side and Greatbatch's initial aim for both Tests is to take them into a fifth day. "It's a great challenge for some of them to go up against the best side in the world," he said. "We need to compete every day and fight hard, and smart. If we can take Australia to five days we are a chance."

Both Greatbatch and Vettori are hoping the side can build on its dead-rubber one-day win on Saturday during the Test series. "Anytime you beat Australia it's a great feeling," Vettori said. "It gives us a bit of confidence going into the Tests and proceeding towards a World Cup."

New Zealand squad Tim McIntosh, B.J. Watling, Peter Ingram, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Daniel Vettori (capt), Mathew Sinclair, Brendon McCullum (wk), Daryl Tuffey, Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee, Chris Martin, Brent Arnel.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by L.Pearce on (March 16, 2010, 7:40 GMT)

1.MacIntosh/Ingram 2.Watling 3.Guptill 4.Taylor 5.Sinclair 6.Vettori 7.McCullum 8.Tuffey 9.Patel 10.Southee 11. Martin. i feel for NZ also so many injuries its just luck something has to come right round the corner for them and i admit the selection for their test sides with fringe players is inconceivable but they must change what their doing with the team at the moment and have suitable cover for injuries as for retirements that is cricket its inevitable. Ryder, Elliott, Mills and consider the availables How, Franklin, Flynn, anyone could come in for the questionables Macintosh, Ingram, Sinclair's position. Its simply dont perform your out...plenty of optional rotationals and discards im just saying

Posted by SHARK810 on (March 16, 2010, 2:24 GMT)

bring back richard hadlee...

Posted by santhoshkudva on (March 16, 2010, 1:30 GMT)

i think the time is right to blood jeet raval. on a lighter note, bring back martin crowe and glenn turner and i bet they can perform better than the correct lot. even greatbatch could try his hand.

Posted by amdtelrunya on (March 15, 2010, 19:46 GMT)

Scott Styris has retired from tests. As for Lou Vincent, Greatbatch has talked to him and he isn't committed to playing in NZ at the moment because of family committments overseas. Its not any selection issue. When you look at the players who have retired from tests it really is a sad story. No Oram, Bond, O'Brien, Vincent, Styris. Not to mention that Ryder is injured, and Elliott and Mills for ODIs as well.

Posted by payadhi on (March 15, 2010, 17:23 GMT)

Mathe Sinclair is newzealand Ajit Agarkar

Posted by Mahendra_Ishant_Pathan on (March 15, 2010, 15:24 GMT)

i can't see scott styris in the squad....is this a joke?

Posted by Taniwha_NZ on (March 15, 2010, 11:17 GMT)

Some countries have a culture of putting kids straight into international cricket; Pakistan especially. You cannot compare that with NZ selection ideas, they are two completely different cultures and expectations.

First, kids in Pakistan are usually more mature at the same age. They usually come from poor backgrounds and have to work to help support their families. This isn't always true (Shoaib was a spoiled brat) but it usually is.

Whereas a kid in NZ who has exceptional talent will be treated like a prince and by the age of 17 or so will not have done a days hard work in his life.

The second point is the potential damage to a career. They did it with Ken Rutherford - selected him young for a tour of the WI and he got completely raped by their bowlers. He was never any good against pace after that and it ruined him.

If they are too young, you cannot repair the damage if they don't succeed. If you wait a few years it can't hurt at all.

Posted by mike5181 on (March 15, 2010, 7:51 GMT)

Williamson should have been included..everyone knows even the new zealand cricket coaching staff that Ingram has not got the technique for international cricket. Why waste time? Umar akmal is doing well.On a positive note though the future middle to lower order is looking pretty decent- 3.Guptill 4.Taylor 5.Williamson 6.Rhyder 7.McCullem 8.Vettori.Thats assuming they are all fit and dont pull a Oram/softey career. Openers are a lost cause in Nz always have been Macintosh is a joke but i guess watling looks alrite.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2010, 3:41 GMT)

The whole thing is nonsense..... there is no modern-day equivalent of that 1980s west indies' team..... the honest turth is this: If you are good enough, you are old enough. The best experience a new zeland player can get IS in the black caps... domestic cricket season after season is a preparation for mediocrity.... because you don't face 140-plus all the time.... etc etc..... so, yes, kane williamson should be in the team.... We need to see the back of people like Franklin and other bowling-'all-rounders' and have youth like aa-rounders Neesham and/or Andersen come through quickly.... then in four years we can win tests and world cups etc etc.... This pre-conceived notion that one needs at least three seasons of this and that is nonsense!! How's that 17 year-old guy been bowling for pakistan? AWESOME. And yet we are debating whether 21-23 is too young? This is why New Zealand cricket will always fail... we don't think outside the box... there is NOTHING to lose... is there?

Posted by Copernicus on (March 15, 2010, 3:20 GMT)

Does aanyone know what's happened to Lou Vincent?

Posted by RoJayao on (March 14, 2010, 23:51 GMT)

As an Aussie keen on whipping some Kiwi hide this week, I still wish NZ could choose Bond for tests. What a shame such a clearly still excellent bowler chooses to play only the insignificant T20's and tedious ODI's.

Posted by SS2cat on (March 14, 2010, 23:27 GMT)

Mcintosh needs to go. End of Story.

Posted by just_cricket on (March 14, 2010, 20:51 GMT)

I can understand the decision but I don't think it's a great one- although I can see why the selectors are holding Williamson back. Yes he is probably ready and from what I know of him he's got a pretty calm head but Martin Crowe gave a really good speech about why youngsters need 2 or 3 seasons of heavy run scoring before they get thrust onto the international scene. This has been Kane's 2nd season of big runs so he will get in the squad for the Sri Lanka tour I guess. He is too good a talent to risk having a Rutherford situation with, even though the chances are small.

Posted by amdtelrunya on (March 14, 2010, 19:57 GMT)

Williamson for next season - he's got plenty of years ahead of him. NZ doesn't get batting talent like that often enough to risk him right now.

Sinclair's selection is more a sign of the lack of other players around the country - its really hard to think of anybody else, despite Sinclair's numerous chances.

I would leave out Patel and Ingram from the 13, Sinclair would be better at no. 3 than Ingram, with Guptill at 5.

Posted by Jambo22 on (March 14, 2010, 14:28 GMT)

I don't understand why the selectors are holding Williamson back. They said they want to take him to India or Sri Lanka or wherever it is later in the year.

Surely it would be easier for a young guy to play his first game on a familiar pitch with a supportive crowd than in a country like India, which can be hard to handle for a tourist, let alone a cricketer.

Everyone is so afraid of having another Ken Rutherford (who was thrown into the lion's den in the West Indies as a teenager and never recovered). Williamson is going to be NZ's next star, so let's just get on with it.

Sinclair? Really? Even if he scores a 100 (unlikely), is he really a long-term option?

Posted by thatsgold on (March 14, 2010, 11:58 GMT)

Sinclair needs to transfer his domestic form to the test matches, but as we've seen before, he's failed to do that so i don't think it's a good selection. Williamson should have been chosen he's in brilliant form. There's no better way to make your debut than against a world class team, and if he does fail - no worries, you learn much more failing vs a world class team than a poor team and would come back a better player against easier oppenents. Look what happenend to Ingram, was talked up lots against Bangladesh...and then Australia came.

Posted by krithivas on (March 14, 2010, 10:02 GMT)

stupid choice.sinclair is no good

Posted by robotiger on (March 14, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

Sinclair for Broom is an okay choice. I would have had Williamson for Ingram in addition.

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