India in New Zealand 2008-09 March 12, 2009

Uncapped Brent Arnel makes New Zealand Test squad

Cricinfo staff

Martin Guptill has scored 391 runs at an average of nearly 49 in his first 11 ODIs © Getty Images

Northern Districts fast bowler Brent Arnel has been included in New Zealand's squad for the first of three Tests against India beginning on March 18 in Hamilton. The other new inclusion is batsman Martin Guptill, who has been in good form in one-day internationals.

Arnel was New Zealand A's best bowler in the recently completed two-match series against England Lions, taking seven wickets at 25.71. He also represented New Zealand A in India in 2008. "He's [Arnel] bowled well consistently over a period of time, and has the advantage of having done quite a bit of bowling in recent four-day matches," GlennTurner, the head of New Zealand's selection panel, said.

Allrounder Jacob Oram, who returned from injury for the ODIs, was not considered for selection because he was not yet confident of playing a five-day game. Oram's performances during the ODIs against India were weak as well. He scored eight runs in three innings and took no wickets in 18.3 overs.

"He [Oram] has made good progress in recovering from injury, but Jacob is not yet fully confident that his body would stand up to rigours of a five-day game," Turner said. "He now has the opportunity to play some four-day cricket for Central Districts - and he may well come into consideration for the later Test matches."

The allrounder's spot in the Test squad went to James Franklin, who scored 92 against England Lions and took four wickets in the two matches. Franklin's place in the New Zealand A squad for the Twenty20 against England Lions will be taken by Scott Styris, while Warren McSkimming will replace Arnel.

Guptill, who is New Zealand's third-highest run-getter in the ongoing ODI series against India, scoring 90 runs in the four matches at 30.00, said he was "pretty happy" at being included.

"I have looked forward to this for years," he said. "It's gonna be a bit difficult but I think I look forward to the challenge. It's gonna be a great opportunity to be playing all three forms of game for New Zealand. I had targeted the one-dayers first, and I got there, so I am really happy with that. And now the Tests, and I am really looking forward to them."

New Zealand also named an unchanged squad for the final ODI against India in Auckland on March 14. Ian Butler has not recovered from his thigh strain to return to the team. India have already won the series, after taking a 3-0 lead in Hamilton on Wednesday.

First Test squad: Daniel Vettori (capt), Brent Arnel, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Tim McIntosh, Brendon McCullum (wk), Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor.

Fifth ODI squad: Daniel Vettori (capt), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Peter McGlashan (wk), Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Ewen Thompson.