Kane Williamson scratched from the first test
MARK GEENTY AND MATT RICHENS
Kane Williamson "probably could have played," but has been given an extra week to recover from his broken thumb and local lad Aaron Redmond will play his first test in five years.
Williamson was announced as a 95 per cent chance to play last week by selection boss Bruce Edgar, but yesterday the key player himself seemed less confident.
Captain Brendon McCullum today said it was touch and go.
"It was a tough decision, but in the end it was a touch too early for Kane," the skipper said.
"He batted yesterday in the nets and didn't feel a great deal of discomfort batting. But just with doing some fielding then having to go back in the nets it just started to stiffen up a little bit.
"He probably could have played, but in the grand scheme of the season we've got in front of us and how valuable he is to us, we saw it as a more safe option to let him miss this one out and have another week to recover."
McCullum then revealed his playing XI, naming Doug Bracewell as the 12th man.
That means both Ish Sodhi and Corey Anderson will play their first tests in New Zealand.
New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Aaron Redmond, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Ish Sodi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Who's the best test cricket captain?