Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Cricket: Martin's future up in the air

Teammates congratulate New Zealand's Neil Wagner, third left, for taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Marshall Ayub. Photo / AP
Teammates congratulate New Zealand's Neil Wagner, third left, for taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Marshall Ayub. Photo / AP

Following their ongoing test against Bangladesh, New Zealand won't play another five-day encounter until the West Indies tour here in December and the selection of the Black Caps' spin bowlers will be a point of interest.

Left-arm orthodox tweaker Bruce Martin's test career may be hanging in the balance after he was overlooked to start in Dhaka today as New Zealand opted to play only one frontline spinner.

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi was preferred to Martin, who struggled in the drawn first test in Chittagong last week, where he returned match figures of 2-175.

Martin's first-innings effort of 0-113 from 27 overs was particularly concerning last week given he was the only New Zealand bowler to leak their runs at more than four per over and he failed to build any pressure on the Bangladeshi batsmen.

With Daniel Vettori returning to club cricket recently, it will be intriguing to see how long it takes for the veteran to get up to speed for an international return following a lengthy injury break.

Playing in New Zealand before Christmas would indicate New Zealand are likely to play only one spinner given the pitches will likely suit the seamers where the Black Caps are currently stocked with talent.

Dropping Martin indicated that New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is keen on seeing how Sodhi develops, while part-timer Kane Williamson is continuing to contribute as a partnership-breaker who can pick up the odd scalp.

New Zealand could run with an accurate spinner who can give the pace bowlers a rest between spells against the West Indies, where a player like Martin has value, while Sodhi is more of a gamble.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh closed the second session on day one on 228-5 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka today after the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan (20) when he was trapped lbw by Sodhi.

Earlier, Bangladesh made a promising start to the second test after they won the toss and elected to bat.

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal made the most of being dropped twice - on five by BJ Watling and on 10 by Brendon McCullum - as he anchored the home side's effort with 95.

He found able support from Marshall Ayub (41) and Mominul Haque (47) as Iqbal shared 50-run partnerships with both players, while the New Zealand bowlers couldn't build consistent pressure.

The Kiwis gave up a slew of boundaries as Iqbal was particularly aggressive during the opening stages of his innings against anything that was full.

New Zealand managed to bowl to their plans during the second session though as they picked up three crucial wickets as they fought their way back in to the test.

Neil Wagner led the Black Caps with 2-42, while Sodhi, Trent Boult and Corey Anderson each claimed one scalp.



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