Jamie How will lead New Zealand A against England Lions for the first of two four-day matches in Queenstown. How, 27, was dropped from the New Zealand squad for the final two matches of the home ODI series against West Indies last following his extended run of poor form.
How disappointed in his last three ODI series, scoring 105 runs at an average of 21 in the five-match series in England last year, and 80 at 21.33 in Bangladesh. In the series against West Indies, he managed only 27 runs in two matches. In the 18 Tests he has played, How has scored 771 runs at 23.36.
The focus will also be on James Franklin, returning from a long injury lay-off following knee surgery last year. He featured in the West Indies series but didn't make an immediate impact. He also played the one-off Twenty20 in Australia, bowled one over and scored three runs. The performances were not good enough to warrant him a place in New Zealand's Twenty20 squad to take on India.
Glenn Turner, New Zealand's chairman of selectors, said the series would provide an opportunity to both established and younger players to get time in the longer form of the game.
"Jamie How has agreed to captain the side, and this will give him an opportunity to find some form in a four-day setting," Turner said. "James Franklin also has a good chance to show whether he can regain the form he's shown in Test cricket previously with the ball and also show his improvement with the bat."
In James Franklin, Trent Boult and Mitchell McClenaghan, the side would have three left-arm fast bowlers. "That's a bit unusual - and a good place to be in given that we have not had many left-arm quicks performing at this level in recent years," Turner said.
New Zealand A play the England Lions in four-day games in Queenstown, from March 1 to 4, and in Lincoln from March 7 to 10. The series finishes with two one-dayers at Palmerston North on March 13 and 16, and a Twenty20 at New Plymouth on March 19.
Squad: Jamie How, Brent Arnel, Trent Boult, James Franklin, Peter Ingram, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim McIntosh, Bruce Martin, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson, Luke Woodcock, Reece Young