Fast bowler Doug Bracewell has been recalled to New Zealand’s Test squad for their series against Pakistan in the UAE next month. Bracewell has not played for his country since October last year and is the only addition to the squad that beat West Indies 2-1 in the Caribbean earlier this year, while opener Peter Fulton has been left out.
The rest of the 15-man squad remains the same for the three-Test series in November, with Fulton’s former opening partner Hamish Rutherford earning a reprieve despite losing his central contract in July. Bracewell had also been cut from New Zealand’s contract list this year but the coach Mike Hesson said both men deserved their selection.
“Doug had a very good NZ A tour and we just think that in the heat in the UAE his experience and resilience in those conditions will be important,” Hesson said. “Likewise Hamish demonstrated a lot of positives on that England tour. His balance was back and with that came his confidence.”
The possibility of spinning conditions in the UAE will make Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig important men as New Zealand aim for their first series win over Pakistan in 30 years. Hesson said he had been impressed by the emergence of Craig in the West Indies this year.
“Mark had an outstanding first series in spin-friendly conditions and really stepped up to the level required in Test cricket,” Hesson said. “Now the challenge for him is to deliver on his second tour when the opposition will know more about him.
“Pakistan is an incredibly tough team to play in conditions favourable to them. Our record against Pakistan is actually the worst against any of the Test playing nations, having won just two out of 19 series, both home and away.”
The first Test against Pakistan will be played in Abu Dhabi from November 9, before the teams move on to Dubai and Sharjah for the second and third Tests. Two Twenty20s and five ODIs follow through December.
Test squad Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Mark Craig, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi.