ICL: Indian Cricket League

New Zealand welcome back IPL stars


New Zealand wasted no time in naming their five returning IPL players for their third warm-up match against a strong Essex side including Alastair Cook and Andre Nel which begins in Chelmsford on Friday. The captain Daniel Vettori, wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills had all been excused to rake up the Indian cash but now they are in England, New Zealand’s tour can begin in earnest.

Rain hit their first two games, against MCC and Kent, but an unfazed New Zealand had anticipated April showers so they had arranged four warm-ups in a packed schedule. The latest one looks set to be affected by the weather as well, with rain forecast for Chelmsford on three of the four days.

Nevertheless, New Zealand have already had some valuable practice among the downpours, with Aaron Redmond for example making 86 runs in two innings. He will now use the Essex match to try to seal a Test debut as opener in New Zealand’s new-look line-up.

The uncapped Daniel Flynn has another chance to stake a Test claim, having made 1 in his only knock so far. Vettori picks up the reins again from Jamie How who enjoyed his stint in charge, while making 46 and an unbeaten 53 in his two tour innings so far. James Marshall has also been enjoying some valuable time in the middle.

Michael Mason, who has not played Test cricket for four years, has the chance to finally contribute with the ball after not having the chance to bowl in the opener and then being overlooked for selection in the last game. Iain O’Brien has yet to take a wicket on tour, returning 21 overs for 73 runs in his only match to date, against Kent, and he will have another run-out in Chelmsford. The bowlers Tim Southee and Chris Martin have been left out.

After this match New Zealand have one more warm-up before the first Test at Lord’s, against the England Lions which begins on May 8 in Southampton. The Test starts on May 15.

For Essex, Mark Pettini leads a youthful team including Cook, Nel and Ravi Bopara. The bowlers Maurice Chambers and Tony Palladino have been included in the 12-man squad ahead of David Masters and Chris Wright. Graham Napier and Tim Phillips were unavailable for selection, both through knee injuries.

Essex squad Alastair Cook, Jason Gallian, Ravi Bopara, Tom Westley, Mark Pettini (capt), Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster (wk), James Middlebrook, Alex Tudor, Andre Nel, Tony Palladino, Maurice Chambers.

New Zealand 1 Jamie How, 2 Aaron Redmond, 3 James Marshall, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (wk), 6 Daniel Flynn, 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Michael Mason, 11 Iain O’Brien.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 2nd, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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