• New Zealand in England 2013

New Zealand weigh up Vettori for second Test

ESPNcricinfo staff
May 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Bruce Martin bowled with accuracy and discipline during the first Test at Lord's © Getty Images
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Bruce Martin, the New Zealand left-arm spinner, will miss the rest of the England tour as a result of a calf injury he sustained during the first Test at Lord's which means Daniel Vettori could return to the Test side for the first time in 10 months.

Neither Martin or wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who New Zealand remain "hopeful" will play the second Test, took the field on the fourth day during England's second innings, although both batted as the tourists were dismissed for 68 to lose by 170 runs.

Vettori will arrive a day ahead of the rest of the ODI squad as a potential replacement for Martin for the second Test at Headingley, which begins on Friday. Vettori has been at the IPL but did not play a single game for Bangalore Royal Challengers and his fitness will be assessed. Jeetan Patel, the offspinner currently playing county cricket for Warwickshire, is another option for New Zealand.

The morning after New Zealand were humbled, coach Mike Hesson was left to assess the injury situation. "Daniel's come over 24 hours earlier for us to have a chance to have a look at him," he said. "We won't be pushing Dan if he's not ready but if he is we'd certainly love to have him.

"He's done plenty of bowling in the last couple of months in the IPL, albeit in the nets. He's got through plenty of work. But it's a matter of whether we think he's going to be able to get through five days of a Test match. We won't risk Dan for the sake of a test. But in saying that it is an important Test for us."

Vettori's previous Test appearance came on the tour of the Caribbean last July since when he has suffered a string of injuries - the most serious being an Achilles problem - with his only international outings being at last year's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

No wicketkeeping back-up has been requested for Watling, with Tom Latham an option within the squad. Brendon McCullum took the gloves at Lord's, although he has not kept wicket in a full Test since 2010 and already has plenty of responsibilities as captain and batsman. Watling was not selected for the ODI leg of the tour, in which Luke Ronchi, the former Australia wicketkeeper, is expected to make his New Zealand debut but Hesson said that Ronchi was unlikely to feature at Headingley.

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