When one door closes another opens and no one will attest to that more than Hawke's Bay cricketer Liam Dudding.

Unable to find traction with the Central Districts Stags this summer after four first-class appearances and three List A ones since his debut in March 2016, Dudding is over the moon to be selected to represent the New Zealand XI against their Sri Lanka counterparts in Napier from today.

"It's an exciting opportunity to play against an international side," says the 24-year-old Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall premier men's club right-arm seamer.

"You know, it's not every day you get to play against an international side so it's a big step up."


He considers it a privilege to be taking the new ball for the Glenn Pocknall-coached, Peter Younghusband-skippered side when play starts at 11am today on the revamped outfield but a normal wicket at McLean Park.

While gauging his worth against the Sri Lankans, the part-time employee of Napier brewery B Studio can't wait to run on to a park hosting its first cricket match since the outfield makeover.

The swing merchant says while it was disappointing missing out on the Stags during their four-day Plunket Shield campaign he is relishing the opportunity to catch the selectors' eye in an elite arena.

Grappling with his share of injury demons and missing the entire 2017-18 summer last year, Dudding is back following surgery to his right wrist in March. They were frustrating times but the bowler played through the pain barrier until a CT scan revealed the fracture.

"I haven't had any troubles with the wrist with all that winter training and slowly getting myself back into it again."

Northern Districts batsman Bharat Popli was recalled for first-class duties and former CD opener Dean Robinson, of New Plymouth, replaces him.

In Alexandra, the Stags posted a mammoth total of 511-6 declared in 160 overs with captain Greg Hay making 226 and Kieran Noema-Barnett adding 108 runs.

NZ XI (in alphabetical order): Max Chu (Otago, wk), Katene Clarke (ND), Blake Coburn (Canterbury), Liam Dudding (CD), Luke Georgeson (Wgtn), Brett Hampton (ND), Will O'Donnell (Akld), Sandeep Patel (ND), Dale Phillips (Akld), Dean Robinson (CD), Michael Snedden (Akld), Peter Younghusband (Wgtn, c).