New Zealand in West Indies 2012 July 20, 2012

Nethula, Wagner given Test audition

ESPNcricinfo staff

The legspinner Tarun Nethula will have the chance to audition for a Test debut after he was named in the New Zealand side for their tour match against the WICB President's XI, to begin in Antigua on Friday. New Zealand chose the dual spin options of Nethula and Daniel Vettori, while the fast bowler Neil Wagner will also be given an opportunity to press his case for a Test debut.

BJ Watling and Trent Boult will not play due to quad strains and the fast men Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee have been left out. Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain, said the three-day first-class game would provide players with a fine chance to prepare for the Test series and would also give the selectors a look at some of their options for the first Test, which begins next Wednesday.

"It's a good opportunity for the players to get out there and spend time on their feet and it's not often you get to play a warm-up game on a ground where you will be playing the Test match," Taylor said. "We're still undecided on the balance of the side for the Test series. Tarun has come in and spin is going to be a big part of how we play this warm-up game and the Test match. Hopefully he goes well and makes our job a lot harder when we come to pick the Test team."

"The few times I played against [Wagner] and saw him on TV he's very aggressive. He's a guy who's been wanting to play for New Zealand for a while and has very good record. He gives us a slightly different option being a left-hander and I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes."

New Zealand XI Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (capt), Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Vettori, Kruger van Wyk (wk), Neil Wagner, Tarun Nethula, Chris Martin.

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  • Brendan on July 21, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Nz Team for test; 1 Guptill 2 Flynn 3 McCullum 4 Taylor (c) 5 Williamson 6 Vettori 7 Watling (wk) 8 Bracewell 9 Southee 10 Boult 11 Nethula

    WI Team for tes; 1 Gayle 2 Brathwaite 3 K Edwards 4 D Bravo 5 Shiv 6 Samuels 7 Ramdin (wk) 8 Sammy 9 Roach 10 Russell/Edwards 11 Narine

  • michael on July 20, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    NZ clocks up another pathetic innings. 137/8.

  • Steven on July 20, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    I thought McCullum was an opener, part of the reason for him dropping the keeping was to take responsibility and open. Now he bats at 3 and a middle order player has to open. Why? Man up NZ, don't let Baz rule the team

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2012, 16:50 GMT


  • Gordon on July 20, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    Here's your XI: Guptill, McCullum, Flynn, Taylor*, Williamson, Watling+, Vettori, Bracewell, Wagner, Nethula, Martin.

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Yes the WI batting is brittle but have you guys seen the last 4-5 test series?? Where the top order failed the lower order bailed them out on plenty occasions. NZ had better not risk such a long tail against the WI bowlers. With Kemar Roach back in the mix, Narine and a possible debut for fast bowler Johnson it just might be a rocky road. Chris Gayle is back at the top for WI test and so this team is stronger than it has been in a while. Darren Bravo is still injured but I suspect that Kirk Edwards will take his spot, Chanderpaul should be at number 4/5.

  • David on July 20, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Fo NZ it goes: Hadlee, Crowe, Vettori ... simple as that.

  • Tomek on July 20, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @plow: seriously, are you even a NZ supporter? Where do people get off critiquing Vettori's input? In the last 5yrs his stats look like:

    2007-2012 Tests: 38 Runs: 2236 H.S. 140 Avg. 37.89 100s: 4 Wickets: 130 Best: 6/56 Avg: 33.95 5fors: 7

    Which makes him one hell of a bowler for a guy that avgs 2 runs per inning less with the bat than S.Fleming. Plus his career runs per over avg is 2.59. Hadlee would NEVER have got the wickets he did without Ewen Chatfield, and Vettori has done most of his wicket taking as the only decent bowler in the team.

    I'm sorry if you disagree but as far as I am concerned without Vettori in the past 15 years of service the NZ side would have walking the same line as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh as seriously questionable Test nations. He may not win many games on his own, but without him the losses would have been significantly more embarrassing and the draws would have been losses and the wins may never have been at all. He's earned untouchability imo.

  • Peter on July 20, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Going in with 4 bowlers again.. That's a lot of pressure on a debutant... Good luck waggers!

    I really hope Vettori stands up and gets wickets.. He's been lacking in that department for years....

  • Beau on July 20, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Here's hoping Nethula can do well in what should be helpful conditions. With IND next up, an attacking spin option is obviously pretty important. Should he and Wagner excel though, it'll leave NZ with some difficult selection decisions. Assuming one or both of Bracewell & Southee play the first Test, who to drop? Flynn and Brownlie are the obvious candidates, but both have done well lately (at least in Tests), and that also gives NZ a very long tail. With the WI batting almost as brittle as their own, will NZ break with their preferred 4-seamer attack? It's a tough call, but I think playing to their strengths is the way to go. Load up the attack, and hope Baz and Rossco can carry the others to decent total.

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