Black Caps call test specialists early to Windies

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 13:18 03/07/2012
Brendon McCullum
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EARLY START: Brendon McCullum will join the Black Caps earlier than expected.

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New Zealand Cricket coach John Wright has summoned the cavalry.

Wright today told Fairfax Media he'd asked New Zealand Cricket to send some of the test specialists to the Caribbean earlier than planned and they could be used at the back end of the five-match ODI series which begins in Kingston, Jamaica Friday morning (NZ time).

With Ross Taylor and Jacob Oram both injured, the side is light on senior players and 21-year-old Kane Williamson is taking over the captaincy duties from Taylor.

So Brendon McCullum will join the side earlier than expected and could play in the final two matches of the ODI series that begins in Kingston on Friday morning (NZ time).

It is unclear if the other test specialists - Neil Wagner, Chris Martin, Daniel Vettori and Kruger van Wyk - will join McCullum though Mark Gillespie definitely won't be as he's been ruled out of the tour because of an ankle injury.

"That would be helpful to get some of our players who are involved in the test matches here a little earlier," Wright said.

"And they could possibly play in the last couple of one dayers."

He'd not decided who to play or if McCullum would replace Williamson as skipper, but hinted either an ODI debut for South African convert Wagner or another crack at 50-over cricket for 37-year-old Chris Martin could be on the cards should they arrive in the Caribbean early.

"We're still exploring the possiblity," he said.

"The more cricket we can get leading into the test series the better, it's important particularly now we have some injury issues."

Meanwhile, Wright said the side would not know how long Ross Taylor would be out for until team physio Paul Close has assessed him after a week of treatment.

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- Fairfax Media

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