New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has announced the New Zealand XI to take part in the three-day warm-up match against Zimbabwe and a 12-player squad for the one-off Test match against Zimbabwe.
From the team who beat Australia by seven runs in Hobart last month, Jesse Ryder (groin) wasn’t considered, Wicketkeeper Reece Young was dropped and spinner Daniel Vettori returns from a hamstring injury.
Young will be replaced by either Central Districts’ Kruger van Wyk or part time wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who have both been named in the squad.
Ryder’s unavailability has allowed the selectors the flexibility to bring both van Wyk and Watling into the squad. A decision on who will take the gloves in the Test will be made closer to the start of the game.
Commenting on the squad, National Selection Manager Kim Littlejohn said, “For the Test we have kept the core of the team which beat Australia in Hobart with Jesse Ryder not considered as he works to get back to full fitness and have left out Reece Young as we look to give someone else an opportunity.
“Although we have only named 12 for the Test we will look to add another player before the match.”
Speaking about the change of wicketkeeper New Zealand Coach John Wright said, “There’s a lot of competition for the wicketkeeping spot in the country at the moment.
“It’s tough on Reece, his keeping has been good and he knows that if he goes back to domestic cricket and scores runs he will remain in the frame.
“BJ will get a chance to prove himself with the gloves in the three-day game and Kruger will open the batting. A decision on who will take the gloves in the Test will be made closer to the start of the match.”
The NZ XI team gather in Gisborne on Wednesday 18 January ahead of the three-day match starting Saturday 21 January.
New Zealand Test Squad: Ross Taylor (c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, Kruger van Wyk, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.
New Zealand XI Squad : Ross Taylor (c), Brent Arnel, Michael Bracewell, Chris Martin, Andy McKay, Tarun Nethula, Kruger van Wyk, Daniel Vettori, Neil Wagner, Sam Wells, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.