Marshall and Franklin for Bangladesh tour
Hamish Marshall and James Franklin are the big winners in the New Zealand team named today for the first tour of Bangladesh next month.
Marshall has ousted Craig McMillan for the tour while Franklin has taken the place of Daryl Tuffey who has been rested in a bid to sort out a bruising problem that is affecting his confidence.
The full team for the tour is: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Ian Butler, James Franklin, Hamish Marshall, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Michael Papps, Mark Richardson, Scott Styris, Daniel Vettori, Paul Wiseman.
New Zealand coach John Bracewell said Marshall's selection was a reflection of the strength developing in New Zealand's 20-man squad which the selectors had struggled to cut down to 20 players at the end of the last season.
Marshall had shown form in Asian conditions before, in Pakistan last summer, and in India in the Buchi Babu tournament in 2000-01. His selection, ahead of McMillan, allowed the selectors to investigate changes for the future in the middle-order. He will bat at No 5 or 6 in the order.
"In a squad sometimes guys move ahead and others stand still. We are also looking at horses for courses," Bracewell said.
The loss of Chris Cairns to the Test team also meant that different options had to be considered by the selectors for the middle-order.
Bracewell explained that Tuffey's concerns are in no way associated with the knee injury that caused him problems at the end of last summer and, in fact, Tuffey had received no treatment at all for the knee. The problem was associated with bruising that occurred whenever he dived for the ball or hit the ground hard. Blows to his legs cause them to swell up and this was affecting his confidence and his performances, he said.
"There is no real worry about his ability to bowl, but he is worried about putting his leg down and we need to get it sorted because he is too valuable to us," Bracewell said.
Chris Martin, who is in South Africa with New Zealand's A team, was never out of line for selection, Bracewell said. He was impressed with the way he fought through the England tour, especially when without the support of Tuffey and Kyle Mills who suffered injuries.
"He will be a handy asset throughout the summer and with him and Ian Butler we have some heat in the attack," he said.
New Zealand's first match on the tour, a three-day game in Dhaka, begins on October 14, and the first Test at October 19, also at Dhaka and the second Test on October 26 at Chittagong. A separate team for three one-dayers will be named later.