New faces for NZ in 2nd Test
Wellington - New Zealand will blood two new players in the second Test against
India starting in Wellington Friday as they look to cap a golden summer
without star performer Ross Taylor.
Tom Latham replaces the
high-scoring Taylor, who will remain at home with his wife due to give
birth, while the green wicket has earned all-rounder Jimmy Neesham a
start at the expense of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
New Zealand, who
won the first Test by 40 runs, will take five seamers into the match
with Kane Williamson acting as the spin option.
"With this wicket
the best method of attack against this Indian side is to roll out
another seamer," captain Brendon McCullum said.
"Neesham's batting is a bit of a bonus but he comes into the frame for his ability to bowl it pretty heavy as well."
who averages 136 from his past four Tests, will be a huge loss and
McCullum admitted it was "never ideal" to play two new caps.
But he said both had international experience with Latham, 21, having played 13 one-day internationals and Neesham 11.
Zealand have been blessed with green wickets in their home series
against the West Indies and now India which have allowed their potent
seamers to lead them to three victories from four Tests.
were denied the chance of a clean sweep when rain washed out the last
session of the first Test against the West Indies, before bouncing back
to win the second in Wellington by an innings and 73 runs.
McCullum said the Basin Reserve wicket for the India Test looks even juicier than the strip used two months ago.
looks a little bit greener than what we had against West Indies and
looks a bit harder too. We expect a bit of pace and bounce and maybe a
bit of sideways movement as well."
Although New Zealand wickets
are not what India experience at home, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni sees
positives, especially after his bowlers rolled New Zealand for 105 in
their second innings at Auckland in the first Test.
always like, when we are playing outside the subcontinent, a greener
wicket as it assists our fast bowlers and they can get the opposition
out which means it will be testing for our batsmen but I always prefer
it that way," he said.
McCullum lost the toss to Dhoni in all five
ODIs, which New Zealand won 4-0, and in the first Test. He was
philosophical about the prospect of losing again.
look to have a bowl if we win the toss. But if we find ourselves
batting we have Neesham at eight. We have quite a bit of batting," he
"We've been in some precarious positions having to bat
first this summer and we've come through those tests pretty well, so
it'll mean one more big effort if we do find ourselves batting first."
India will announce their team before the toss on Friday.
Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham,
Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Jimmy Neesham,
Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.