Wellington - Senior New Zealand batsman
Ross Taylor has been ruled out of next week's first Test against Australia,
putting rising batting star Henry Nicholls in line for his debut.
However, leading strike bowler Tim Southee,
who suffered a foot injury in the New Year series against Sri Lanka, has been
declared fit to resume international duties.
The squad announced on Friday on the eve of
the second ODI against Australia also includes Matt Henry, New Zealand's form
bowler in limited overs cricket, and Corey Anderson who missed the November
Test series in Australia.
Taylor continues to struggle with a side
strain suffered during a Twenty20 match against Pakistan last month.
"Henry has been very impressive the
way he's made the step up to international cricket and we're confident of the
job he can do for us in the top order," coach Mike Hesson said.
Nicholls' international career consists of
eight ODIs with an impressive 61 against Australia in Auckland on Wednesday
when New Zealand won by 159 runs.
Hesson said Southee, who forms a potent
new-ball attack with Trent Boult, was New Zealand's most experienced bowler and
"we're excited to have him fit and a part of our pace bowling attack.
"Matt also comes back into the squad
after some really strong performances throughout the summer, and with Corey's
return we now have a number of seam bowling options to consider.
"It's well documented how good a Test
side Australia are and we know it will take some exceptional cricket for us to
have a chance of taking out the series," Hesson saidWicketkeeper BJ Watling, who has a back
injury, was included in the squad but with Luke Ronchi named as cover.
The first Test starts in Wellington on
February 12 with the second and final Test in Christchurch from February 20.
New Zealand's squad for the first Test: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling and Kane Williamson. Luke Ronchi as wicketkeeper cover.