Kane Williamson named in Black Caps test squad

Last updated 08:22 29/11/2013
Kane Williamson
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WILLIAMSON BACK: Kane Williamson has made a welcome return to the Black Caps test squad after breaking his thumb.

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Aaron Redmond has earned a recall to the Black Caps test squad for the series against the West Indies.

The veteran Otago top-order batsman was confirmed in the 13-man squad named this morning for the test series that starts in Dunedin on Tuesday.

Redmond has played seven tests, the last in the 2008 season. He averages 23 with a highest score of 83 in tests but has developed real consistency in the first-class scene in recent years, and scored 67 in the first innings of the New Zealand XI's current match against the Windies in Christchurch.

Redmond, 34, will cover the No 3 position with the favoured Kane Williamson still to be cleared to play.

Williamson was named in the squad as he battles back from a hand injury.

The 23-year-old, who broke a bone in his left thumb in Bangladesh last month, will await a final fitness clearance closer to the match but the signs are promising.

"Kane has been in the nets batting and bowling and getting his intensity levels up," chief selector Bruce Edgar said.

"We're confident he should be right come Tuesday."

Edgar said Redmond was selected as injury cover for Williamson based on the volume of runs he had scored.

"Aaron has made a good start to the Plunket Shield to date and on top of the 67 he scored yesterday for the New Zealand XI we felt he was the best top order batting cover" Edgar said.

Tim Southee is also back to head the bowling attack after he had ankle surgery in July. Southee was eased back into international cricket during the limited-overs section of the tour to Bangladesh and showed his form this week, taking 6-79 for the Northern Knights.

Southee's Knights team-mates, leg spinner Ish Sodhi and all-rounder Corey Anderson, are in line to play their first tests at home next week.

The pair, who debuted on the recent tour of Bangladesh, were both named in the squad despite Anderson suffering a rib injury in Sri Lanka.

Edgar was keen to see the 20-year-old Sodhi given another a chance after he stood up well on what was a challenging tour of Bangladesh.

"Mike [coach Mike Hesson] and I feel that Ish is worthy of an opportunity in the first test if the conditions are right." Hesson said the team was looking forward to playing at home after a long tour of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

"We know we're capable of playing well in familiar conditions," Hesson said.

"You only need to look back to the English series last summer where we were one wicket away from a series victory."

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New Zealand squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Peter Fulton, Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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