New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson will miss the first Test against Sri Lanka, which starts in Christchurch from December 26, due to a groin strain. Anderson suffered the injury during the fourth ODIagainst Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and was not considered for selection.
Offspinner Mark Craig is the only specialist spinner in the 13-man squad, ahead of Ish Sodhi. Craig had picked up 7 for 94 and 3 for 109 in the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah, contributing to the side’s series-levelling win. Dean Brownlie, who last played a Test in May 2013, has also been named in the side.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who opened the innings in all three Test matches in the UAE, will return to the middle order again. McCullum had recently stated that the move up the order was a temporary one, to accommodate an extra bowler in the side. Bruce Edgar, New Zealand’s general manager, national selection, also stated that McCullum would be better suited in the middle order against Sri Lanka.
“This is another series, in different conditions and against a completely different opponent,” Edgar said. “In these circumstances, we feel Brendon’s better suited to, and offers more value, down the order.”
Squad for the first Test Brendon McCullum (capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Mark Craig, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson.