Watling, Styris and Southee for Pakistan ODIs
An injury-hit New Zealand have handed a maiden international call-up to Northern Districts opener BJ Watling and comebacks to Scott Styris and Tim Southee. The trio got a look-in for the limited-overs fixtures against Pakistan in the UAE to make up for the absence of Jesse Ryder, Grant Elliott and Daryl Tuffey, who sustained injuries during the Champions Trophy. Nathan McCullum, dropped for the Champions Trophy, has been recalled in place of Jeetan Patel.
South African-born Watling, 24, has been a solid performer for ND this past domestic season, averaging 63.62 in the one-day competition. He was awarded a winter contract last year in a deal that ran from May to September and covered the Emerging Players Tournament in Queensland and the New Zealand A tour of India. He made 94 and 115 not out in Australia and 97 in India. With New Zealand dropping back-up wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins, Watling will serve as understudy to Brendon McCullum.
Southee and Styris last played ODIs at home against India in March. Aaron Redmond, who was flown in to South Africa as Ryder's replacement, has been retained.
Daniel Vettori, after his first decision-making stint as a selector, said the choices had been tough despite the number of injuries. "This tour is a good opportunity for Watling to get a taste of top-level cricket - as selectors we believe he's got strong potential as a top-order batsman. Aaron made a strong case for his inclusion with confident performances at the World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy.
"Nathan and Tim will give us flexibility and options, which will suit the short, sharp nature of this tour - but Jeetan Patel and Iain O'Brien are continuing to push hard for places in the squad. Coming off a great performance in the Champions Trophy there's a confidence in the squad that we can do well in this series on neutral ground."
New Zealand will depart for Dubai on October 27. After three ODIs and two Twenty20s, they will host Pakistan for three Tests. Ryder (abdominal strain), Elliott (broken right thumb) and Tuffey (broken right hand) will be reassessed prior to that series. Vettori, who missed the final of the Champions Trophy, and Jacob Oram, who announced his retirement from Tests this week, remain subject to fitness assessments on their hamstrings.
New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (capt), Shane Bond, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (wk), Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Aaron Redmond, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling.