Tim Southee has been dropped from New Zealand's squad for the second Test against South Africa in Hamilton, starting on Thursday. After a tough first Test in Dunedin, in which he conceded 140 runs and failed to take a wicket, Southee will return to the Plunket Shield to work on technique and form.
New Zealand have beefed up their bowling with the addition of Mark Gillespie and the re-inclusion of Brent Arnel, who was part of the squad for the first Test but was not included in the final 12.
Gillespie has come off a run of fine form in which he has taken 20 wickets in his last three first-class matches. He is third on the list of wicket-takers, behind the yet-to-be-eligible Neil Wagner and Arnel, with 30 wickets at an average of 27.53.
"Tim Southee hasn't been included He's a talented young fast bowler and we are confident he will return to the Plunket Shield and continue to put pressure on those in the Test team," Kim Littlejohn, New Zealand national selection manager said. "Mark Gillespie returns to international cricket after showing good form recently and provides and a strong and reliable bowling option."
Gillespie has played three Tests for New Zealand, one of them against South Africa in November 2007 at Centurion. Gillespie will have fond memories of that match as it was his Test debut and he took a five-for in South Africa's only innings, dismissing Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher.
There is the possibility that Arnel and Gillespie won't feature in the final XI on a pitch that is no longer expected to be seamer-friendly. Although there was initially talk of a green wicket being prepared at Seddon Park, this has been doused by the suggestion that the strip may actually be a little dry.
In anticipation of that, New Zealand have also added variety to their attack, with the inclusion of legspinner Tarun Nethula, who has yet to play Test cricket. "We are pleased to be able to offer Tarun an opportunity. He is bowling well and offers a point of difference to the attack," Littlejohn said.
Neither BJ Watling, who is recovering from a hip joint injury, nor Dean Brownlie, who has a fractured finger, were considered for the squad. South African-born wicket-keeper Kruger van Wyk keeps his place along with Rob Nicol, who had a tough debut opening the batting.