Chris Martin will be chasing a strong bowling display when he returns for the last two days of Auckland's Plunket Shield game against Otago, starting at Eden Park tomorrow.
The country's premier fast bowler of the past few seasons has lost his test place with the younger trio Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell preferred for the past three internationals.
The tour to South Africa is looming and Martin, 37, will feel the need to press his case for the two tests.
Auckland were strongly placed for maximum points against Wellington this week before rain washed out the final day. Otago lost by 10 wickets in Napier.
In Hamilton, BJ Watling will keep wicket for bottom side Northern Districts against Canterbury. He'll be heading to South Africa too and will welcome the workout. It will be the first time he has kept wicket in a four-day game since injuring his hip on the eve of the first test against South Africa in Dunedin last season. That opened the door to CD gloveman Kruger van Wyk, who now finds his spot less secure after a disappointing batting effort in Sri Lanka this week.
Points: Central Districts 63 (from four games), Otago 33 (4), Auckland 30 (3), Canterbury 28 (4), Wellington 24 (4), Northern Districts 11 (3).
Auckland team to play Otago, Eden Park 2, 10.30am tomorrow: Auckland (from): Gareth Hopkins (c), Lou Vincent, Tim McIntosh, Reece Young, Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, Craig Cachopa, Kyle Mills, Dean Bartlett, Bruce Martin, Bhupinder Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Chris Martin (only for days three and four).
Northern Districts team to play Canterbury, Seddon Park, Hamilton, 10.30am tomorrow: Brad Wilson (c), BJ Watling, Joseph Yovich, James Marshall, Corey Anderson, Anton Devcich, Daryl Mitchell, Ish Sodhi, Jono Boult, Graeme Aldridge, Brent Arnel, James Baker.