New Zealand Test Team Named

John Bracewell has done it again. The Black Caps coach has left out both of the specialist batsmen in the New Zealand squad for the first Test match against South Africa starting tomorrow.

Jamie How has been dropped from the side after poor performances against the West Indies, and Michael Papps didn’t do enough in the tour match, against the Rest of South Africa, to gain selection.

Hamish Marshall and Peter Fulton will open the batting for New Zealand at SuperSport Park. Marshall must consider himself very fortunate to be given another opportunity after an ordinary twelve months with the bat.

Coach Bracewell has gone against his word. Earlier in the tour he said that specialist openers would be persevered with, but has now changed his mind and picked two middle order players at one and two in the batting order.

Meanwhile, Jacob Oram makes a much welcomed return to the side. He will bat at number six and be used as a stock bowler, assisting Shane Bond by applying pressure from the other end.

A major concern for New Zealand is that Bond has yet to be decleared fully fit. He will need to prove to management at tomorrow’s final training session that he is over his knee injury and is able to take his place in the final eleven.

Kyle Mills will come into the side should Bond not come through his final net session.

New Zealand: Hamish Marshall, Peter Fulton, Stephen Fleming (captain), Scott Styris, Nathan Astle, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, James Franklin, Shane Bond, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills (12th man)

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