Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Wynne Gray: Why Jesse Ryder should be picked for Black Caps

Jesse Ryder. Photo / Paul Taylor
Jesse Ryder. Photo / Paul Taylor

Jesse Ryder should be picked for New Zealand's next test tour to South Africa.

There's an absence of experienced authority at the top of the innings and in the middle order and Ryder could be considered for either role.

Now that Ryder has mentioned to coach Mike Hesson he's feeling ready for a return to the international arena, he should be given a training schedule and told to get his kit ready for the August trip to South Africa.

Two tests, three ODIs and twin T20s are on the schedule for a NZ side who will be travelling without Brendon McCullum and with mixed recent productivity from their top order test batsmen.

Martin Guptill struggled to average a shade over 16 in 10 test innings against the Australians while James Neesham succumbed to injury after one poor showing and Henry Nicholl rolled out four innings at an average of 19.

The experienced Ross Taylor averages a strong 45.59 in tests and his return will shore up the gap left by McCullum and help captain-elect Kane Williamson.

However one of the opening roles and the choices at five-Nicholl, Corey Anderson, Mitchell Santner, Neesham, Colin Munro-do not have anything like that look.

Ryder could be used in either role.

He plays and leaves the new ball well and has a range of strokes to combat the pace-laden South African attack and can also adapt to the batting detail if he is put in the middle order.

This time it seems there has been no coercion. Ryder has made peace with himself and asked about his chances and that inquiry has piqued the selectors' interest.

So it should. Ryder averages nearly 41 in his 18 tests and 33 in almost 50 ODIs and that's gold for a flimsy NZ test batting lineup.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

The latest commentary and analysis from senior rugby writer Wynne Gray. Wynne has been covering the All Blacks for more than 27 years and has attended more than 230 All Blacks tests live for the Herald.

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