Cricket: New faces in Black Caps squad

New Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum. Photo / AP
New Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum. Photo / AP

It's easy to forget amid the furore surrounding the captaincy, but the Black Caps have a tour approaching and there will be a number of new faces on the plane to South Africa.

The squads for the Twenty20 and test portions of the series, beginning later this month, were announced today with Brendon McCullum at the helm of both teams.

With deposed skipper Ross Taylor opting for a break from cricket there were always going to be changes to the team, but the New Zealand selectors have opted for no fewer than five debutants in the T20 squad.

Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Colin Munro, Derek de Boorder and Mitchell McClenaghan have all been given the nod on the back of impressive recent domestic form, with coach Mike Hesson saying the quintet have showed "considerable promise'' and deserve their chance at a higher level.

"We believe the squad has a good blend of experience and young talented players who we are sure are ready for the challenges ahead,'' Hesson said.

Peter Fulton was also recalled after a good start to the season with Canterbury, while Tim Southee and Jacob Oram were not considered for selection due to the pending birth of their children.

There has also been a number of changes to the test test who recently triumphed in Sri Lanka, with Kruger van Wyk's poor run of form with the bat seeing him replaced by BJ Watling.

Veteran spinner Bruce Martin has come into the team at the expense of Todd Astle, while Dean Brownlie has been recalled to the side and will challenge Peter Fulton to assume Taylor's spot in the batting order.

"We don't require a leg-spin option in South African conditions so have left out Todd Astle but he is very much part of our thinking for the future,'' Hesson said.

Martin, 32, will be making his international debut after a 13-year first class career in which he has taken 297 wickets, while Dan Vettori is continuing his rehabilitation from injury and was unavailable for selection.

`"Bruce Martin is a specialist spinner who can bowl a lot of overs and he deserves an opportunity after showing good recent form.''

Despite both squads looking a little light on experience, Hesson said his side were eagerly awaiting the chance to test themselves against the No 1 side in the world.

"We are expecting a very tough series and I'm sure our squad are up for the challenge,'' Hesson said. "Playing South Africa will be a great experience for this young side and we look forward to a highly competitive series.''

Twenty20 squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Derek de Boorder, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Nathan McCullum, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Rob Nicol.

Test squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Bruce Martin, Jeetan Patel, Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

- APNZ

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