Thought about our side for the immediate future. Although I think people are romanticising a little how well Ryder would bat if he returned to the side, best case with bowling included he would make a big difference to the team. So, with Ryder and without Ryder.
With fully fit Ryder who can bowl:
Williamson for a few more tests
Vettori (4) or sometimes a fourth seamer
Bracewell (3) for a few more tests
Ryder solves the balance problem. You might be surprised to see Vettori at 8. My judgement though is that with some wicket-taking ability in Boult/Southee, Vettori may be able to just do a job with the ball. He may even benefit from bowling a little more often when the opposition batting is under some pressure. It's not ideal but in looking at the alternatives I think this is best. Most days we will want to play a spinner and there's a part of me that wants to select Patel instead but I dismiss that as sentimentality. Vettori offers so much more with the bat in addition to averageness with the ball. Occasionally play a fourth seamer instead.
If Bracewell is at 9 then he's there purely as a bowler and IF he continues to struggle we can afford to drop him for anyone who we think is a better pure bowler. I don't know who right now - probably one of Gillespie, Milne, Wagner, Wheeler. With Vettori in the side Bracewell needs to be a wicket-taker.
Thought long and hard about Guptill and Williamson. For Guptill, I just think there is no-one else right now. And the chances of Guppy coming good, as little as they are, are still better than throwing Watling in there or someone like Rutherford.
Williamson needs runs soon though. I would very likely give him the South Africa series, and it might as well be at 3, but if he's still batting poorly it will be time to bring someone else in and give Williamson some time to clear his head and work towards a return. If Ryder is in the side I think we can afford to move Taylor up to 3 at that point (whereas I thinks it's too much of a risk with Ryder absent). So the new guy comes in at 4 - a Brownlie or Watling or someone who's doing well in domestix.
Last edited by straw man; 23-11-2012 at 11:22 PM.