Bell makes comeback to Tests
New Zealand have included openers Matthew Bell and Peter Fulton in the squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh. Michael Papps, who opened with Craig Cumming in New Zealand's recent tour of South Africa, has been dropped, while Cumming, who suffered multiple facial fractures after mistiming a hook off Dale Steyn in the second Test, is part of the 12-man squad.
Bell last played in a Test in 2001 in Australia. But he has been picked based on his domestic form - 722 runs at 103.14, including a double-century in this season's State Championship. John Bracewell had hinted at Bell's selection a day before the squad was picked. And on being asked what he expected Bell to bring to the Test side, Bracewell told the New Zealand Herald, "Hopefully a large percentage of those 700 runs."
Scott Styris was dropped in favour of Fulton after averaging 14.75 in the two Tests against South Africa.
Jamie How, included in the one-day side for the Chappell-Hadlee Series and against Bangladesh, missed out on a Test spot, while Sinclair, who replaced Cumming for the ODIs against South Africa, gets a call-up to the Test side.
With Shane Bond out because of injury, New Zealand will go with Michael Mason, rather than Mark Gillespie, who was Bond's replacement for the second Test in South Africa.
Jeetan Patel will be added to the squad for the second Test in Wellington. The University Oval in Dunedin will be hosting its maiden Test when the two sides meet for the first Test on January 4.
New Zealand squad
Matthew Bell, Craig Cumming, Mathew Sinclair, Stephen Fleming, Peter Fulton, Brendon McCullum (wk), Daniel Vettori, Chris Martin, Michael Mason, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram.