One thing's for certain after a victory in sport - you want to follow it up with another.

Having pulled themselves off the bottom of the Plunket Shield table, Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags will want to retain a winning habit for peace of mind, if nothing else.

The Heinrich Malan-coached defending champions host the Wellington Firebirds in the first-class match from today at McLean Park, Napier, following their maiden victory this summer in any format over the Northern Districts Knights last Saturday at the same venue.

The James Franklin-captained visitors are coming off a drawn match they probably should have won at the Basin Reserve.


However, one player who hasn't seen much action this summer and is looking forward to a two-day affair in Whangarei is Roald Badenhorst.

The Manawatu allrounder is in the Peter Fulton-captained New Zealand XI team to play India in a warm-up game at Cobham Oval from Sunday.

"It's a good reward so I've just got to go out there to soak up all the experience against India who are one of the best test sides in the world and not everyone gets a chance to do that," says the 22-year-old while training with the Stags at Nelson Park, Napier, this week.

Badenhorst learned of his selection in a phone message while playing for Manawatu in their Hawke Cup zone 2 qualifying match against Taranaki last weekend.

Malan also had informed him the Stags had nominated him for the warm-up game.

A bowling allrounder, he expects to contribute in a similar mould to what he does for CD as third seamer and bat in the second half of the line-up.

Not having much time with the squad because he's been "in and out", Badenhorst has found the CD culture uplifting but not sure of much else personally.

"It's hard to tell. I haven't been playing much in the HRV Cup so I haven't had much experience with the white ball.

"I'd like to think I'm there or thereabouts with the red ball."

He feels that if he takes wickets, scores runs then the rest will take care of itself.

"Everyone wants to play all three formats but with guys like Jake [Oram] and the two pros [Peter Trego and Joshua Cobb] there it was quite hard to get in the HRV Cup," he says, adding their absence from the shield campaign leaves the door ajar for players like him to push a foot in in the four-dayers and the one-day Ford Trophy campaign.

"Hopefully I'll get to play a few Plunket Shield games and they'll consider me after the [Provincial] A tournament we had down in Christchurch where I thought I went pretty well with the ball although I'm batting a little bit low."

Badenhorst feels he may be a better fit in the middle order as a batsman who can bowl.

Carving up a century in the Hawke Cup match at the weekend for the zone 2 qualifiers who have earned the right to challenge for the symbol of minor association supremacy, he says Malan's reinforcement on his knock was inspiring.

He scored his maiden provincial ton against Hawke's Bay a couple of years ago when the opposition had an "impressive bowling attack".

However, he sees the competition for places in the Stags as a healthy thing.

"It keeps you on your toes and honest so it's always good."

While the match against India hasn't got first-class status, it's a great opportunity for him to not only play against the tourists but also rub shoulders with Black Caps openers such as Fulton and Hamish Rutherford who will get a look at India before the test starts on Waitangi Day next Thursday.

"Obviously you want to play for the Black Caps but playing for a New Zealand XI is good, too, so I just want to go out there to enjoy it."

Badenhorst hopes selectors see him as a player of the future.

He is a final-year Massey University business degree student.

He also played for Ryton Cricket Club in Newcastle, England, last winter.

"I scored over 1000 league runs in 20 games, including four hundreds, and I took 49 wickets as well.

"It's quite hard on the body playing all year round but we only play on the weekends and I bowl just 10 overs so there's no danger of fatigue or anything like that."

Born in Pretoria, he migrated with his family to Palmerston North as a 9-year-old and considers himself a Kiwi.

The former Palmerston North Boys' High School pupil didn't win any Gillette Cup titles with the First XI sides.

"We were quite unlucky, actually. We had a pretty good team but always finished in the top three or four."

One year Black Cap Corey Anderson's century for Christchurch Boys' High School dashed their hopes and in another year it was a demolition job from Kane Williamson, of Tauranga Boys' High.