Wellington - New Zealand are toying with
the possibility of playing an extra spinner in the second Test against Sri
Lanka starting in Hamilton on Friday, despite their commanding victory in the
Bowling coach Dmitri Mascarenhas spiced up
competition in the bowling ranks by suggesting the line-up could be shaken up
at the expense of either Neil Wagner or Doug Bracewell, both of whom were
impressive in the first Test in Dunedin which New Zealand won by 122 runs.
"The boys bowled exceptionally well on
a really flat wicket and it's about time we took 20 wickets," Mascarenhas
said on Wednesday, as the squad began preparations for the second Test at
"I think we just showed what we are
capable of doing, but now it's time to keep that consistency up and move
Mascarenhas rated Bracewell as
"probably the best bowler" in the first Test but without having the
same success as Wagner who, on his recall after a year out of Test cricket,
bagged the key wicket of Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews in the second
Wagner took five for 143 from 42 overs in
the match while the more miserly Bracewell bowled 10 fewer deliveries and
finished with one for 88.
Mascarenhas said a pitch inspection would
determine whether New Zealand keep both seamers or replace one with Mark Craig
as a second spin option to back up Mitchell Santner.
"We could," he said of the
possibility of playing two spinners. "But we haven't seen the wicket yet.
From my point of view you pick the best team to get a win in the
Captain Brendon McCullum said the bowling
options remained wide open.
"When (Wagner) is in your team you
know that you've got those overs when you are going to be able to create some
opportunities," he said.
"Mark Craig comes back into
calculations as well but Doug Bracewell, I thought he bowled absolutely
brilliantly throughout the Test match and all through Australia as well and
just hasn't got the rewards at the moment.
"We'll look at the surface and work
out the combination and the dynamic we are after and then we'll make a
Mascarenhas expected a more resolute
performance from Sri Lanka who are still bedding in a clutch of newcomers after
the retirement of several seasoned players in the past 18 months, notably
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
"We saw some really good signs from
their batters. They've got some really talented and skilful players," he
"We know they've lost a couple of big
players but the ones coming in are having opportunities and taking them."