After a near two-year absence, Hamilton's Mitchell Santner has been recalled to the Northern Knights for their Plunket Shield match against Central Districts in Napier, starting tomorrow.
Santner debuted in November 2011, before playing the last of his five first-class games in March 2012, but his tremendous recent form has been too great for ND coach James Pamment to ignore.
Santner, who turns 22 early next month, scored 365 runs at an average of 45 opening the batting for the ND side at this month's national A tournament in Lincoln, while also collecting 12 wickets at 24 with his left-arm spinners.
Despite batting at the top of the order for his Hamilton Old Boys' club and ND A, the left-hander will likely slot into the middle order for the Knights at McLean Park, as he did in his previous appearances for them.
There are three other changes to the Knights' side from their last four-day outing on December 20.
Black Caps test players BJ Watling and Ish Sodhi return, while seamer Anurag Verma is now free from injury.
Cameron Fletcher makes way for Watling, while Anton Devcich, Jono Boult and Jono Hickey have been omitted.
Corey Anderson, Tim Southee and Kane Williamson are presently on Black Caps duty, while Trent Boult is managing a thigh injury.
At the halfway mark of the competition, the Central Stags are in last spot on 27 points, five behind the fifth-placed Knights, who are 30 behind table toppers the Canterbury Wizards.
Northern Knights: Daniel Flynn (c), Brad Wilson, Joe Carter, Daryl Mitchell, Bharat Popli, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Anurag Verma, Graeme Aldridge, Jimmy Baker.
- Fairfax Media
Which batting pair would be best at opening in ODIs for the Black Caps?