Andy Moles, the New Zealand coach, has played down talks that the selectors hadn't wanted Chris Martin in the Test squad. There have been reports in New Zealand media that the selectors, led by Glenn Turner, thought Martin had lost his zip, and that it was only Daniel Vettori's insistence that earned him a recall.

"The selectors are strong men," Moles said. "They wouldn't have put someone in the side they didn't want or they didn't consider good enough.

"I did read some things in the papers this morning. I can assure Chris Martin that the selectors haven't said that they didn't want him. Martin is a fine performer, and has a good track record. He will bowl at the nets tomorrow and if he is at the top of his game and is bowling well, he will play."

Reports also say that earlier in the season, for the Tests against West Indies, Mark Gillespie was picked ahead of Martin against Vettori's wishes. Gillespie returned figures of 0 for 102 in the drawn Dunedin Test, and lost his place to the spin of Jeetan Patel for the second Test.

Martin last represented New Zealand in Australia, where he took six wickets for 221 runs in two matches. Amid the selection drama, Martin took 0 for 60 as his home side Auckland bowled Otago out for 210. In the current domestic season, Martin has three wickets from three matches, at an average of 113.66.

Another reason for the selectors to want to overlook Martin - if they did want to - is his batting incapability, which makes for a really long tail.