Cricket: Dean Brownlie set to open on Black Caps return

By Andrew Alderson, in Napier

Dean Brownlie. Photo / Getty
Dean Brownlie. Photo / Getty

Dean Brownlie looks set to renew his one-day international cricket career for New Zealand in the second Chappell-Hadlee series match at Napier tomorrow, unless forecast rain intervenes.

In contrast, Australian wicketkeeper and stand-in captain Matthew Wade is out of the tour with an ongoing back injury.

Brownlie, sporting a beard to rival WG Grace, was the focus of applause and handshakes in a team circle at practice. He then worked on his slips catching alongside Ross Taylor in the cordon.

The 32-year-old last played an ODI in December 2014 against Pakistan, but has loomed on the periphery of the side for some time.

Brownlie averages 25.37 at a strike rate of 74 from nine ODI innings, but that increases to 34.25 at 79 in the four innings he has opened.

He has excelled opening for Northern Districts in this season's Ford Trophy, scoring 203 runs from five innings at an average of 50.75 and strike rate of 70.

Brownlie replaces Martin Guptill, who rested his left hamstring twinge.

Guptill's innings of 61 from 73 balls proved a key building block in New Zealand's opening six-run win at Eden Park and his batting has been pivotal in recent Chappell-Hadlee contests, averaging 62 from his last seven innings against Australia with a strike rate of 101 and no score less than 31.​

Opening with Brownlie and Tom Latham maintains the balance of the side.

Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Neil Broom are expected to stay at Nos 3, 4 and 5 with Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner providing all-rounder cover at Nos 6, 7, and 8. Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult should round out the XI.

The only potential query with that ensemble came when Neesham and Matt Henry stayed at McLean Park to practise outfield catches today, while Tom Blundell worked on his keeping. All others, including all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, went to the Nelson Park nets after a fiercely contested warm-up of football-volleyball.

Of their opponents, Wade was listed to captain Australia in the three-match series, following the withdrawals of Steve Smith and David Warner.

He failed a pre-match fitness test in Auckland on Monday, having tweaked his back at training the day prior. The touring party was confident he would recover from back spasms for the second match, but he was restricted to walking laps at the venue while Peter Handscomb worked on his glovework with assistant coach Brad Haddin.

Later in the day, it was announced that Wade would return to Australia.

"It hasn't pulled up as quickly as I wanted and the travel hasn't helped," Wade said.

"I took one catch at training - we were doing nicks - and I dived in front of first slip and felt it grab."

Wade said Handscomb would be better prepared after a mixed display at Eden Park.

"It'll probably be easier on him with some more prep time. He found out half an hour before the start the other day, so had to grab his gloves and run out there, which is not an easy thing to do."

Orchard, team physio David Beakley, coach Darren Lehmann and on-duty selector Mark Waugh had a lengthy discussion in Napier, after debriefing with Wade.

- additional reporting AAP

- NZ Herald

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