Ross Taylor has been ruled out of tomorrow's second cricket test against India in Wellington as New Zealand confirmed batsman Tom Latham and allrounder Jimmy Neesham will make their debuts.
Captain Brendon McCullum said Taylor was out of the match as his wife Victoria hadn't yet given birth to their second child who is expected to arrive during the test. He remained at home in Hamilton and Latham was informed today he'd come in at No 4 in the batting order in a straight swap for Taylor as New Zealand look to clinch the series after a 40-run win in Auckland..
Neesham was also named in the 11, with the Basin pitch looking green and seamer friendly. It means five frontline pacemen for New Zealand, with legspinner Ish Sodhi to carry the drinks and Kane Williamson chiming in with his offspin if required.
"With this wicket the best method of attack against the Indian side is to roll out another seamer," McCullum said, confirming Neesham will bat at eight.
Neesham is coming off his highest first-class score, 147 off 135 balls for Otago against Central Districts in Nelson this week. The 23-year-old has played 11 ODIs for New Zealand while 21-year-old Latham has 13 ODIs to his name and forced his way into test contention with plenty of first-class runs for Canterbury this summer.
McCullum said the pitch offered plenty of encouragement for his pace attack who routed West Indies by an innings and 73 runs in December. Tomorrow's test would be played on a different strip.
"It looks a little bit greener than what we had against West Indies and looks a bit harder as well. We expect a bit of pace and bounce and maybe a bit of sideways movement as well," McCullum said.
"What worked for us best against the West Indies was the ability for us to swing the ball in the air. Hopefully with some still days the ball seems to swing here, and that's what's forecast over the next few days."
McCullum has lost all six coin tosses on the tour so far and joked that this one would probably go against him too. If MS Dhoni happened to call incorrectly, McCullum said there was only one option.
"Obviously we'll look to have a bowl if we win the toss. But if we find ourselves batting we have Neesham at eight we have quite a bit of batting. We've been in some precarious positions having to bat first this summer and we've come through those tests pretty well."
New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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