Mark Richardson: Hitchcockian suspense is pointless

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The selection of Daniel Flynn for the remaining two one-day internationals this summer makes perfect sense. He's a player of promise and is having a great season but, most importantly, if his Twenty20 call-up meant he was seen as the next cab off the rank, then a couple of low scores immediately following should not affect the view the selectors have of him.

If you wanted to ask questions, although let's face it you're not going to get straight answers from Black Caps management, why Flynn for Paul Hitchcock? Flynn is a middle-order batsman and Hitchcock plays as a bowler in the national side. Hitchcock is a little unlucky as he had limited opportunities but he'd agree he didn't get anywhere near taking those he did have.

Perhaps it was just a year too late for Hitchcock whose re-emergence as a cricketer came as a hard-hitting opening batsman in limited-overs cricket for Auckland.

Flynn is just a little better than a part-time, left-arm spinner which could be handy if Jeetan Patel keeps getting squeezed out. With Hitchcock's overs gone, Flynn and Scott Styris may be asked to front with the ball.

Common sense would dictate you replace like with like. Using this rationale, Flynn should have come in for Peter Fulton.

The Cantabrian's form puts up a case for him to be rested and the straight balls he has missed this season is a major concern. Fulton has talent and he has shown it in the past with some sparkling innings.

His first year of international cricket was a revelation. What has happened? Here is another batsman who appears to be treading water once under the guidance of New Zealand Cricket. If the selectors believe he's close to coming right, I have no problems with his staying in the team. However, where should he bat? He appears to be drifting and there must be some eagerness from the selectors to play Flynn at six, which leaves no place for Fulton.

The extra batsman in the squad sends a message to the incumbents who underperformed in the last game. Positions three through six are under attack. Jamie How deserves some leeway as he has not yet played his way out of the team, but he does need a score - and a score accumulated in the appropriate fashion soon. If the media is exerting pressure to elevate Ross Taylor to No 3 you can bet your bottom dollar the selectors won't do it, such is their way. However, it might be an option for Fulton, after all didn't the selectors say before the series that they wanted him to have a concerted run at first drop?

Simon Doull put up a compelling argument for the inclusion of James Marshall during Sky Television's broadcast of the third ODI. Marshall's in good form and is a quick accumulator of runs. He would be ideal as a foil for the power game above and below him. However, Flynn is more a boundary hitter and it would appear the Black Caps want to play a total power game.

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