Cricket: Test trio to lead NZ A tour to sub-continent

Doug Bracewell (pictured), Mark Gillespie and Tom Latham have been included in the New Zealand A cricket side to tour India and Sri Lanka for six weeks. Photo / Getty Images.
Doug Bracewell (pictured), Mark Gillespie and Tom Latham have been included in the New Zealand A cricket side to tour India and Sri Lanka for six weeks. Photo / Getty Images.

England test series tourists Doug Bracewell, Mark Gillespie and Tom Latham have been included in a bulked-up New Zealand A cricket side to tour India and Sri Lanka for six weeks from late August.

The trio were in the New Zealand squad for the recent two-test series in England but only Bracewell played when he featured in the second test at Headingley.

Mark Gillespie has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the national selectors, but fitness has been the key to unlocking his potential. When he plays, as a rule, he takes wickets.

Latham is seen as a player for the future, but it is Bracewell who provides the biggest puzzle for New Zealand coach Mike Hesson and captain Brendon McCullum.

A year ago he was seen as one of the rocks upon which the side was to be built over the next decade, but such has been his loss of form and confidence that he now probably occupies a spot in the test bowling pecking order behind Tim Southee and a quartet of left armers - Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Mitchell McClenaghan and Corey Anderson.

Also included in the New Zealand A side are Anderson, who has test allrounder potential, wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, one-test leg spinner Todd Astle, Colin Munro and the likes of James Neesham, Neil Broom and Adam Milne who have played limited overs internationals.

The 18-strong squad travel to Vizag in India on August 25, where they will play a three -day match, four-day match and three one-dayers against India A. They will continue on to Sri Lanka where they will face Sri Lanka A in two four-day matches and three one-dayers.

Broom, Derek de Boorder and Neesham will be available for the two long format matches against India A only, before being released to the Otago Volts for the Champions League. Anton Devcich, Andrew Ellis and Scott Kuggeleijn will replace them.

"These tours are crucial to the development of players on the fringe of Black Caps selection, both improving depth and creating competition for places,'' New Zealand Cricket general manager of national selection Kim Littlejohn said. ``It's a very strong New Zealand A squad with a lot of experience on the international scene. The likes of Doug Bracewell, Neil Broom and Mark Gillespie have all played at test level and will benefit from further time facing international teams.

"Players like Daryl Mitchell, Ish Sodhi and Matthew Henry are all exciting prospects for the future, and this offers them an opportunity to continue their development and understand the demands of cricket at a higher level.

"The experience of playing in sub-continent conditions will be of immense value for all these players and we're confident they'll grasp this opportunity with both hands.''
New Zealand A squad to tour India and Sri Lanka: Corey Anderson (Northern Districts), Todd Astle (Canterbury), Derek de Boorder (Otago), Doug Bracewell (Central Districts), Neil Broom (Otago), Carl Cachopa (Central Districts), Mark Gillespie (Wellington), Matthew Henry (Canterbury), Tom Latham (Canterbury), James Neesham (Otago), Adam Milne (Central Districts), Daryl Mitchell (Northern Districts), Colin Munro (Auckland), Luke Ronchi (Wellington), Ish Sodhi (Northern Districts).

To replace Otago players at end of long format matches against India A: Anton Devcich (Northern Districts), Andrew Ellis (Canterbury), Scott Kuggeleijn (Northern Districts).

- APNZ

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