Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: Vettori lined up to play in second test if fighting fit

Daniel Vettori will be recalled if match fit for the second cricket test against England.

Bruce Martin's calf muscle injury has seen him ruled out of the tour.

Vettori, a veteran of three previous England tours, arrives in London today and is scheduled to train with the team as soon as he has recovered from his flight.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said Vettori would be assessed to see whether the practice bowling he has had with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League has him prepared to play five days of cricket.

"He's come over 24 hours early to let us have a look at him," Hesson said. We won't be pushing Dan but we'd love to have him."

Hesson said the intelligence he had received is that the Headingley wicket had played a lot drier this season than its seaming predecessor. Overhead conditions could influence the thinking to play Doug Bracewell as a fourth pace bowler, but that is unlikely if Vettori passes muster.

If Vettori is not fit Hesson said they would consider Jeetan Patel, who is playing at Warwickshire and took five wickets in his last match.

Vettori last played a test for New Zealand in July on the West Indies tour. Patel played and was later dropped after the tour to South Africa.

Hesson said they hoped wicketkeeper B-J Watling's left knee injury would recover in time for the Friday night start. If not, Tom Latham will likely take his place. Brendon McCullum will also be considered if he feels his knees and back are up to it.

Hesson said the top six deserved another opportunity despite their capitulation for 68 in the opening test.

"These guys have performed well during the home series and first three days of the opening test. So to perform badly over one hour means we won't be making wholesale changes.

"Sure there was absolute disappointment [at our performance]. 'Stunned' might be a better word. The location, the occasion and the chance to win a test at Lord's got to us.

"We were a bit timid with the bat and the quality England bowlers took hold."

- NZ Herald

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