New Zealand Test team named for Pakistan series

WELLINGTON: All-rounder Doug Bracewell has earned a recall to the New Zealand Test squad for their series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates after being dumped from the team for disciplinary issues earlier this year.

The 24-year-old Bracewell, who last played against Bangladesh last year, was dropped after he and batsman Jesse Ryder breached team protocols by going out drinking the evening before a Test in Auckland.

Bracewell was part of the New Zealand ´A´ team that toured England in August and coach Mike Hesson said his performances on that tour had convinced him to give the burly all-rounder another opportunity.

Opening batsman Peter Fulton was dropped from the squad that secured a 2-1 series victory over West Indies in June, with Hamish Rutherford and Tom Latham the likely opening combination.

Rutherford saw off the challenge of provincial team mate Michael Bracewell — the cousin of Doug — who had been tipped as an outside selection for the tour given Rutherford´s struggles at the top of the order since his astonishing 171 on debut against England in early 2013.

The 25-year-old Rutherford, however, scored 281 runs at 52.5 in five one-day innings on the ´A´ tour, which had given Hesson some hope he could rekindle his Test form.

Off-spinner Mark Craig, a left-field selection for the West Indies tour but who impressed on the turning pitches in the Caribbean was retained to try to do as much again on the wickets in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah against Pakistan.

Hesson also named a 19-man New Zealand XI squad for one-day matches against World Cup qualifiers Ireland and Scotland later this month, with former captain Daniel Vettori brought back into reckoning for next year´s global showpiece in Australia and New Zealand.

Vettori, who has not featured for New Zealand since a one-day international in June last year and been restricted to mostly Twenty20 cricket in 2014, was the stand out name in the extended squad, which the final 15-man World Cup team is likely to be drawn from.

The 35-year-old, who has battled an Achilles´ injury and back problems over the last three years, remains one of the most economical bowlers in the world in limited overs cricket and a handy lower-order batsman.

Aggressive batsman Ryder, who has had a career blighted by off-field disciplinary issues, was not included in either squad despite a strong season for English county side Essex, indicating he was not in consideration for the World Cup.

New Zealand face Scotland on Oct. 15 in Christchurch and then play Ireland three days later on Oct. 18 in Hamilton.

Hesson will then select his squad for three one-day internationals against South Africa on Oct. 21, Oct. 24 and Oct. 27 after the Ireland game.

The team will then travel to the UAE for their series that includes three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches against Pakistan, with the first Test starting on Nov. 9. The series concludes on Dec. 19 with the fifth one-day international.

New Zealand Test team: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.

New Zealand XI: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Dean Brownlie, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson. (Reuters)

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