Cricket: Stewart called into Black Caps

Canterbury batsman Shanan Stewart has been called into the Black Caps as injury cover for Ross Taylor and James Franklin. Photo / Getty Images
Canterbury batsman Shanan Stewart has been called into the Black Caps as injury cover for Ross Taylor and James Franklin. Photo / Getty Images

In-form Canterbury batsman Shanan Stewart is poised for a one-day international cricket debut against Australia after being summoned to the New Zealand squad as injury cover today.

Stewart, fresh from scoring 227 not out against Central Districts in the Plunket Shield match in New Plymouth today, will drive to Hamilton tonight to join the squad with Ross Taylor and James Franklin in doubt for the remainder of the five-match ODI series against Australia.

"Shanan has been in our thinking for the Twenty20 World Cup, he's in great nick, he's got a couple of hundreds and a 200 today," coach Mark Greatbatch said.

"He's an experienced middle order player, a very dynamic one-day player and we feel he plays the aggressive game we're looking to play against the Australians."

Stewart, 27, made his first-class debut in the 2001-02 season, and scored 401 runs at 44.55 in this season's national one-day competition.

He was named last week in the 30-man New Zealand squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean in April.

Taylor and Franklin (both hamstring) were being assessed by medical staff on arrival in Hamilton, with a decision to be made tonight on their availability for the coming week.

Greatbatch said both were highly unlikely to play game three at Seddon Park on Tuesday, and key batsman Taylor was the more likely of the two to return for either game four in Auckland on Thursday or the finale in Wellington on Saturday.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori (neck) said last night he was confident of backing up on Tuesday after his man of the match performance in their 12-run defeat at Eden Park, which left the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series level at 1-1.

- NZPA

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