Bond and Cairns not in Test squad for India tour

Indian fans can heave a sigh of relief as Shane Bond has been ruled out of both the Tests and one-dayers for the forthcoming India tour. Chris Cairns is also missing from the Test tour party, having chosen to stay at home for the birth of his child. In the wake of this, Michael Mason and Paul Hitchcock have been included in the squad.

Mason, a fast-medium bowler from Central Districts, will get a head start on the tour. He heads to Chennai with Richard Sherlock, a New Zealand academy bowler, to train with Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace Foundation. Mason served as 12th man on two occasions in the last season and Bond's absence gives him a chance to break into the playing eleven.

Matt Horne and Mathew Sinclair are notable omissions from the Test squad. Either Richard Jones, who toured Sri Lanka without playing a Test, or Lou Vincent is expected to open the batting with Mark Richardson. Aside from this, there were few surprises in the Test squad. Nathan Astle has recovered from knee surgery and Craig McMillan is back in favour with the selectors. McMillan, who has not been in the best of form, was left out of the squad that played against Sri Lanka.

The one-day squad sees Hitchcock come in for Andre Adams, who had a disappointing World Cup. Hadlee said Adams's World Cup performances had been disappointing and while there was no doubt that he was a potential matchwinner with both bat and ball, the selectors had some concerns about him at the moment.

Test squad
Stephen Fleming (capt), Nathan Astle, Ian Butler, Robbie Hart (wk), Richard Jones, Craig McMillan, Michael Mason, Jacob Oram, Mark Richardson, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori, Lou Vincent, Paul Wiseman.

One-day squad
Stephen Fleming (capt), Nathan Astle, Ian Butler, Chris Cairns, Chris Harris, Paul Hitchcock, Brendon McCullum (wk), Craig McMillan, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori, Lou Vincent.