For the ensuing test series against India the Kiwi selectors have gone ahead with the same team that competed and won 2 to zilch against the Windies. The New Zealanders have been on a roll of late, at their home especially, and will be looking to carry the momentum they have gained from the victory in the one day series against the Indians to the test series as well. The test team too retains most of the members from the one day team with a couple of changes here and there. Following is an analysis of each member of the test team and the role they may play in the series against India:
Brendon McCullum: The Kiwi captain does not have the additional pressure of wicketkeeping, which means he will be free to concentrate on his batting – will, most likely, be playing the role of aggressor in the middle order.
Corey Anderson: Compared to the one day series, he may need to play a more sedate role with the bat. With the ball, he will be used as a stock bowler, who will keep it tight and in the process, get a wicket or two.
Trent Boult: Probably the best young seamer in New Zealand, his partnership with Tim Southee will be important to the Kiwi cause in the tests. He will primarily play the role of a wicket-taker.
Doug Bracewell: It’s hard to see him getting a game but he has the capability to pick up wickets because of the late movement that he is able to generate on these wickets and the decent pace at which he bowls. He can also contribute a few runs down the order.
Peter Fulton: It is a surprise to see him ahead of Martin Guptill in the test team considering the fact that he has not scored many runs against the West Indies. However, the selectors have chosen to have faith in him and he will be looking to repay it well.
Hamish Rutherford: Rutherford had a decent series against the Windies and will be looking to push ahead to bigger scores against the Indian bowling that has so far been woefully off color.
Jesse Ryder: He is in the test team mainly as a cover for Taylor who is expected to become a father during the series. If he does get to play, he will more likely slot into the middle order than open and may also bowl a couple of overs, considering the fact that he appears to be a lot fitter than before.
Ish Sodhi: He has been described by none other than Daniel Vettori as a special talent and has normally been used in an attacking role by McCullum. However, against Indians who are regarded as the finest players of spin the young leggie may have his work cut out. Like Bracewell, he can contribute with the bat as well.
Tim Southee: The finest seam bowler in New Zealand, he will be the lynchpin of the attack. If the pitches afford some swing it will be well nigh difficult to handle him in unison with Boult. He can also belt a few blows down the order.
Ross Taylor: Easily the finest batsman in Kiwi ranks, he has been piling on the runs and agony for the Indians in the one-dayers. Both him, and the team management, will be looking for an encore in the tests.
Neil Wagner: The combative left armer is not really quick but he can move the ball either the way, is proficient in reverse swing and has a big heart, which is perhaps his definitive characteristic as a cricketer – will most likely play the role of a first change bowler after Southee and Boult.
BJ Watling: He has been in good form of late on either sides of the stump and much will depend on him in the test series as well. He could have an important role to with the bat in countering Shami and Zaheer’s reverse swing.
Kane Williamson: The heir apparent to Taylor in Kiwi batting stakes, the young gun will be expected to produce the big runs and also chip in with his part-time offspin as and when needed.