West Indies v New Zealand 2012

Wagner named in New Zealand Test squad

Brydon Coverdale

May 3, 2012

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Neil Wagner celebrates a wicket, Auckland v Otago, January 30, 2011
Neil Wagner has enjoyed strong domestic form for Otago © Getty Images
Enlarge

The South Africa-born fast bowler Neil Wagner has been named in New Zealand's Test squad for the tour of the West Indies, while Brendon McCullum has been rested from the one-day and Twenty20 squads. New Zealand have named their touring groups for the trip, which begins with a pair of Twenty20s in Florida starting on June 30 and finishes with two Tests in Antigua and Jamaica in late July and early August.

Wagner and the legspinner Tarun Nethula are the two uncapped members of the 15-man Test squad, which featured no major surprises and included all 11 men who played New Zealand's most recent Test. The selectors chose two wicketkeepers, Kruger van Wyk and BJ Watling, who will also serve as the backup batsmen for the two Tests.

The inclusion of Wagner, 26, will create some competition for places in the attack after he comfortably topped the Plunket Shield wickets tally with 46 victims at 26.32. Wagner was born in Pretoria and started his first-class career in South Africa before moving to New Zealand and making his Otago debut in 2008-09.

He was also the leading Plunket Shield wicket-taker in 2010-11, and it was no surprise that he was rushed in to the squad immediately after the ICC confirmed last month that Wagner had qualified to play for New Zealand.

New Zealand squads

  • Test squad: Daniel Flynn, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (capt), Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie, BJ Watling (wk), Kruger van Wyk (wk), Daniel Vettori, Tarun Nethula, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Mark Gillespie, Chris Martin.
  • One-day squad: Rob Nicol, Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor (capt), Dean Brownlie, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Latham, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Andrew Ellis, Kyle Mills, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Tarun Nethula.
  • Twenty20 squad: Rob Nicol, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor (capt), Daniel Flynn, Dean Brownlie, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Latham, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Andrew Ellis, Kyle Mills, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ronnie Hira.

Less expected was the decision to rest McCullum for the ODIs and Twenty20s, with BJ Watling to take the gloves in both formats having recovered from a hip injury. The national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said with such a busy period coming up for New Zealand it was important to manage player workloads.

"We asked Brendon McCullum to take a break during the short-form component of the tour," Littlejohn said. "The team is about to embark on a heavy programme of international cricket and we will need to sensibly manage the workload of our players.

"This also allows other very talented cricketers to get an opportunity and for us to continue to build depth across our squads. Going forward we are looking to identify opportunities for other players, such as Doug Bracewell, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, to take a bit of time out and freshen up.

"James Franklin will also miss the tour. We see James as a key part of our Twenty20 squad going forward and have worked with him to organise a stint playing for Essex in the county Twenty20 competition. With the ICC World Tweny20 coming up we felt the best preparation for James would be to play a large number of Twenty20 matches in that competition rather than two matches in this tour."

Jacob Oram has returned to the limited-overs squads after recovering from a calf injury and the batsman Tom Latham has been given an opportunity in both the ODI and Twenty20 outfits. The tour consists of two Twenty20s, five ODIs and two Tests.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Ross_Co on (May 5, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

@FatBoysCanBat - you say Wessels was just one of a few South Africans who played for Australia. Perhaps you'd like to name another? There is a world of difference between people like Wessels, Lamb, the Smiths, the Greigs etc (all of whom apart from Wessels played for 'England') who had no opportunity to play for their 'real' country and the current batch. Even so, Wessels faced considerable opposition within Australian cricket. Rather less opposition faced those who played for 'England'.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

@FatBoysCanBAT and @Benjamin Bruce-Campbell Hart Thanks for clearing up the consecutive days. It makes me feel a little better. I am an immigrant to NZ myself and have great pride in our country. I just want to see the entire team being proud kiwis too!

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (May 4, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

I think we also have to take into consideration that Astle has done the majority [over 50%] of his bowling on the best batting pitch in NZ - Mainpower Oval in Rangiora which is literally a road. Whilst Nethula has bowled a lot on helpful pitches at McLean park and Nelson park.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (May 4, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

@vaughanw: I'm glad someone else has noticed Matt Henry. 37 wickets @ 18.51 in 9 matches. He does seem to have the goods. I also like the fact we are talking about leg spinners in NZ. I would however dis-regard your wicket/match ratio because Todd Astle made his first-class debut in 2005 as an opening batsman who barely bowled and it wasn't until he bowled Canterbury to victory in the 2008 State Championship that he started to take his bowling seriously [from memory after that match he had only taken 13 wickets in first-class cricket and averaged over 45 with the ball] which is evidenced by his far better average than Nethula. So from the start of the 2009 season and given the fact that he could only have played a maximum of 40 matches [two matches vs each team over 4 seasons. And I know he has *missed a couple of those 40 games] his numbers are slightly better than Nethula's. Astle: 38* matches 114 wickets 3.00 wickets/match. Nethula: 31 matches 88 wickets 2.84 wickets/match. cont--^

Posted by anshu.s on (May 4, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Isn't Watling strike rate too low for T-20 and odi cricket ?.

Posted by plow on (May 4, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

That Jesse Ryder is not in the squad I can understand, I don't agree with it but I understand the thinking.

That James Franklin is not a permanent member of the squad in all formats is just insane. MCullam drops the gloves and is given the opening spot. Franklin can still bowl well and gets dropped? Franklin is the better bat... it just makes no sense.

He is quite possibly New Zealands best cricketer and it genuinely makes me sad that the NZ cricket selectors cant see that. They are running out of time with Jimmy.

Give him a contract, give him consistency, and he will pay dividends....

Please NZ cricket, give Jimmy the spot he deserves.. he's a no.5 bat in tests, and number 4 in one dayers, hes an anywhere in 20/20's plus he can still swing the ball.....

I just dont get it..

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (May 4, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

@FatBoysCanBat- i know those quicks i mentioned are inexperienced but i just want someone to bowl fast and take the wicket out of the equation, the three i mentioned are probably the only guys in the country who can hurry up good batsman on slow dusty wickets, they might get punished but you couldn't say we didn't go for the throat. As for Chris Martin being over rated the guys they have tried like Doug Bracewell, Gillespie and evenTrent Boult to a lesser degree have performed better . he cant contribute with the bat and his feilding is woefull as well, fair enough he's done a job with the ball i just think there are better players than him, for example Wagner

Posted by   on (May 4, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

Well done Neil, best of luck!

To those judging NZ for picking him, remember Australia picked Brendan Julian (from NZ), England picked Andrew Caddick (from NZ) and Ben Stokes (from NZ) is on the rise there too.

It has happened a lot in general all around the world, and good on Neil for earning his chance here. Great seeing someone work so hard getting success.

Judging by the squad, I'm guessing this will be the team on a dry wicket:

Flynn Guptil McCullum Taylor Brownlee Vetorri Watling Bracewell Wagner Nethula Martin

Though my gut feeling tells me Van Wyk is a better bat and keeper than Watling, though I think NZC prefers Watling's youth and longer term potential.

Gillespie would be hard done by to miss out, given his last 2 tests, but just can't see where he'd fit unless we only go with the one spinner. He could take Bracewell's spot too i guess.

Vettori needs runs at #6.

Hope they play Wagner, especially on dry wickets where reverse swing will be helpful.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (May 4, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

@RandyOZ: Kepler Wessels born in South Africa September 14 1957...Made his Test debut for Australia November 26 1982...played 24 tests for Australia scoring 1761 runs including 4 centuries at an average of 43...He is just one of a few South Africans to play for Australia. You may argue this is because South Africa weren't playing cricket at the time - and you would be right - but you can't forget that the South Africans playing for England and NZ were unwanted by the South African system and affected by the quota system which is a part of the majority of South African sports. So change the record mate, everybody is tired of hearing your "United XI" comments. Remember England and NZ are not alone in selecting South Africans for their national side.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (May 4, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

@Daniel Segura: The criteria is not 183 days in each year, it is 183 CONSECUTIVE days in each of four years. He had two trips out of NZ in the last four years...one back to SA for his brother's wedding [which from my understanding he still spent 183 straight days in NZ that year] and the other was with the Otago team for the Champion's League in 2009 [which won't count against him because he was playing an ICC-backed tournament]. So the answer to both of your 'questions' is no.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (May 4, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

sephotrig - That groundsman that you speak of currently has a better average and economy than Graeme Swann and a better strike rate than Ajmal, putting him statistically right up there with the best test spinners in the world right now, so I wouldn't be so quick to put him down.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2012, 1:31 GMT)

@ Daniel Segura, he actually had to spend 183 CONSECUTIVE days each year in NZ to qualify. There is no NZ international players that could do that, it is actually not that easy to do if you play sport for a living or have family overseas. Also one of the years he didn't do this was due to an ICC series he played overseas, so go figure.

Posted by Gagg on (May 3, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

No Frankling in 20/20 or ODI, no Ryder, no chance.

Posted by vaughanw on (May 3, 2012, 17:34 GMT)

I concur with FatBoysCanBat regarding Brownlie! Brownlie deserves his place (was it not for an injury mid season I suspect his stats would have been even better!). Milne and Small are promissing and very young but still unproven at first class level.. definitely add young Matt Henry as one to watch next season. But regarding spinners, Nethula and Astle are fairly similar statistically... but Nethula has a better wicket/match ratio and in significantly less matches has more 4-5 wicket bags... deserves his chance I think! (atleast we are finally talking about leg spinner in NZ!!) Hopefully he will play both tests likely to be on dry pitches in WI - play 5 bowler's (2 spinners) with Watling at 6. Lets see. The team is definitely weaker without the name RYDER unfortunately! Happy for Wagner though... Should be a tough series as West Indies also appear to be on the up. Good luck Black Caps!!

Posted by sephotrig on (May 3, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

RandyOZ. Isn't the player you say is the saviour of Australian cricket from Pakistan (Khawaja). 11 spinners since Warne and the latest one is a groundsman. Just shows how poor the standard of State cricket is over there if Phil (fend outside off stump) Hughes can score runs.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (May 3, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

@Hugh-DaMann: I have been calling for his inclusion for a couple of years now. He is a far better bowler than Nethula and actually turns the ball. And as you mentioned he is a superior batsman. @kiwicricketnut: While I agree that Milne should be there but not in the ODI's not the Tests, I think it is too early for Small - he has not even played a full domestic season yet. Also, what "crazy obsession with Dean Brownlie???" A Test average of 39 from just 5 games [too early to make much of it], a first-class average of 48.75...seems a lot better than most we have produced in the last 10-15 years. McClenaghan - has had one good season [2011-12] and 4 terrible ones...one good season does not make an international cricketer. Chris Martin over-rated??? 3rd most Test wickets for NZ...45 wickets in his last 12 Tests at an average of 27.8 - once again better than most we have produced in the last decade. @jonesy2: That is the best comment you have ever made...it was genuine and un-biased.

Posted by geedubnz on (May 3, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

don't understand why franklin is left out of test and ODI squads. one of our more technically correct batsmen and a good first class record. odd.

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 3, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

The 2nd United XI is starting to form, this time from New Zealand. Talent there must be as thin as England.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Ryder is capable of being awesome. I hope he sorts it out

Posted by   on (May 3, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

To qualify for NZ he needed to spend 183 days each year in NZ for 4 years. He only managed it twice. Is he a pretend Kiwi for the sake of cricket and satisfying the residency rules by the slimmest of margins? Would he leave NZ once cricket is over?

Posted by jonesy2 on (May 3, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

look forward to seeing him play and wish him all the best

Posted by Maccanui on (May 3, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Ryder is a blowout and I completely agree with him being left out.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

God... How many games will Oram handle till he breaks down again? I reckon 2... LOL

Posted by SirBobJones on (May 3, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

You can't be serious, another one...geez iin 10 years time every cricket team in the world will be 70% South African and 30% sub-continental. Just won't be the same, good old days are over.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (May 3, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

Crazy obsession with Dean Brownlie and BJ Watling other than that not bad squads would love to see an out an out quick in the test team like Adam Milne, Bevan small or Mitchell McClenaghan, Chris Martin is so over rated. Also a Black Caps squad without Jesse Ryder just isn't as good as it should be.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

Ryder's inclusion would have been a surprise and the article stated that there were no surprises in the squads. Good decision to rest McCullum from the shorter formats as his strikerate in the shorter forms have not been McCullum-esque of late and I think he needs to re-focus.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

Looking forward to seeing Wagner in the playing XI, no Franklin and Ryder?! Ryder needs to be there on top of the batting pile. With lots of inexperience to deal with, Taylors got a challenge on...

Posted by Hugh-DaMann on (May 3, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

I'm surprised that Todd Astle didn't get a go in the Test team rather than Tarun Nethula. Astle got the 5th most wickets in Plunket Shield in 2011/12 and the second most behind Wagner in 2010/12. He has consistently performed better than Nethula in the longer version of the game, and is a better batsman. Yet because Nethula played ok in a one dayer for the Blackcaps he gets the nod. Strange decision.

Posted by   on (May 3, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

With the outstanding and unique record of taking 5 wickets in a 6 ball over in first class cricket, Neil Wagner should certainly be in a position to offer some additional clout to the Kiwi attack. Here's hoping that he gets his opportunities and, more importantly, comes good and justifies his first class reputation.

Posted by Mob_King on (May 3, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

Where's Jesse Ryder's name?

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
Tour Results
West Indies v New Zealand at Kingston - Aug 2-5, 2012
West Indies won by 5 wickets
West Indies v New Zealand at North Sound - Jul 25-29, 2012
West Indies won by 9 wickets
WICB Pres XI v N Zealanders at North Sound - Jul 20-22, 2012
Match drawn
West Indies v New Zealand at Basseterre - Jul 16, 2012
West Indies won by 20 runs
West Indies v New Zealand at Basseterre - Jul 14, 2012
West Indies won by 24 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days