ICL: Indian Cricket League

Strauss recalled, NZ likely to favour spin


straussEngland batsman Andrew Strauss has been recalled to the side for their first Test against New Zealand starting on Wednesday (today).

Strauss, dropped after the home series against India before spending the New Zealand summer playing for Northern Districts, will bat at three on his new home ground at Seddon Park. “Straussy looks mentally refreshed and is playing well and he fitted into the number three position very well during the three-day game (against a New Zealand Selection side),” England captain Michael Vaughan told reporters.

Vaughan’s team, comfortably beaten by New Zealand in the one-day series and who have lost their last two Test series, have slipped to fifth in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test rankings.

The captain is hoping to use the Test series in New Zealand and the following three tests in England when the Black Caps tour from April to rebuild confidence. “We feel this is the time when we can start playing some good cricket,” Vaughan added. “We have six games against New Zealand over the next two months to get our game back on track.

“We have lost the last two series and we want to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.” New Zealand are considering including off-spinner Jeetan Patel, giving them two spinners in a Test for the first time since 2005, because of the dry wicket.

“There is not much moisture in it and I’d say we are leaning towards the two spinners,” captain Daniel Vettori said. “We have the right to have a look in the morning and take a look at the overhead conditions.

“We know how much it can swing with the humidity here but the pitch is a lot drier than it was for the one-day game.” The key to exploiting the dry wicket will come on the fourth and fifth day when it begins to break up, Vettori said. “We have stressed to our batsmen that we need to occupy the crease for as long as possible,” he said.

“If we can bat 120-130 overs, then we can build big scores and (if) we play two spinners then Jeetan and I can come into play on the fourth and fifth day. “If we can take the game into the fifth day then we give ourselves a chance.”

Source:Cricket News

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