Daniel Richardson

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

Cricket: Two spinners in the mix for Black Caps

Tarun Nethula. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Tarun Nethula. Photo / Paul Estcourt

New Zealand cricket coach John Wright has selected two spinners to play in his side's three-day tour match against the West Indies Cricket Board president's XI in Antigua tomorrow morning. (Sat, NZT)

Veteran Daniel Vettori and potential test debutant Tarun Nethula have been given the chance to play on the ground that will be used for the first test that gets underway next Thursday (NZT) as Wright looks to settle on his preferred playing XI.

Leg-spinner Nethula would be an intriguing selection for the Kiwis next week, but would likely need a decent performance during the next three days to convince Wright he is worth taking a gamble on.

Trent Boult and BJ Watling weren't available for selection this weekend as they're nursing quad strains, while Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell have both been left out.

Kruger van Wyk will take the wicketkeeping gloves and a sound performance from the incumbent stumper should see him line up for next week's first test.

New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said playing two spinners would allow them to get a better idea of who would be in line for selection next week.

"It's a good opportunity for the players to get out there and spend time on their feet and it's not often you get to play a warm-up game on a ground where you will be playing the test match," said Taylor.

"We're still undecided on the balance of the side for the test series. Tarun has come in and spin is going to be a big part of how we play this warm-up game and the test match. Hopefully he goes well and makes our job a lot harder when we come to pick the test team."

Otago paceman Neil Wagner will also get a chance to push his claim for a berth in the side for next week's first test.

"The few times I played against him and saw him on TV he's very aggressive," Taylor said. "He's a guy who's been wanting to play for New Zealand for a while and has very good record.

"He gives us a slightly different option being a left-hander and I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes."

The West Indies team will feature test specialist Shivnarine Chanderpaul and talented opening batsman Adrian Barath.

The match will have first-class status.

New Zealand team: Ross Taylor (c), Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tarun Nethula, Kruger van Wyk (wk), Daniel Vettori, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson

WICB President's XI squad: Veerasammy Permaul (c), Adrian Barath, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Kirk Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Delorn Johnson, Kevin McClean, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford, Devon Thomas (wk)

- APNZ

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