Wellington - Australia have recalled
paceman Jackson Bird for the first Test against New Zealand starting in
Wellington on Friday as both sides revealed their line-ups on the eve of the
Bird, whose last Test was in the 2013 Ashes
series, comes in for the injured James Pattinson.
New Zealand named a predictable line-up in
an injury-enforced selection reshuffle.
Henry Nicholls will make his debut with
Ross Taylor out with a side strain, and Mark Craig gets a start as the sole
spinner in place of injured Mitchell Santner.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum,
heading into his milestone 100th Test, predicted the green-topped wicket meant
the side winning the toss would bowl first.
"With the forecast I'd imagine it will
dry out a bit quicker than we've seen, but the first couple of days will be
challenging," he said.
Australian skipper Steve Smith, however,
said he would wait until he sees the state of the pitch on the match morning
Smith has Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle
in his pace battery along with Bird and said Pattinson needs more time to recover
following recent injury concerns.
"The selectors aren't 100 percent sure
whether he (Pattinson) would get through this first Test match so that decision
was made," Smith said.
Australia are looking to bounce back after
losing the one-dayers 2-1 to New Zealand. If they win the two-Test series they
will overtake India as the top-ranked side in the world.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
Australia: Joe Burns, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.