x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Black Caps bring in new wicketkeeper in bid to end dismal run

New Zealand have named uncapped wicketkeeper Reece Young in their 13-man squad for the home Test series against Pakistan.

Reece Young is congratulated on a catch.
Reece Young is congratulated on a catch.

New Zealand have named uncapped wicketkeeper Reece Young in their 13-man squad for the home Test series against Pakistan.

Gareth Hopkins makes way for Young after failing to impress on the Black Caps' recent tour of India.

Off-spinner Jeetan Patel and batsman BJ Watling were also dropped from the squad that will play Pakistan in two tests, New Zealand Cricket confirmed yesterday.

"We have kept faith with the majority of the squad who performed well in the Test matches against India and are wanting to build on the positive steps the team took in that series," Mark Greatbatch, the chief selector, said.

"One new face is wicketkeeper Reece Young, who gets a chance after performing well over a number of seasons at domestic and NZA level. It's disappointing for Gareth Hopkins who misses out on selection."

Greatbatch was replaced by John Wright as head coach on Monday after the recent poor showing on the tour to India and Bangladesh and was appointed chairman of the Black Caps' selection panel. He also maintains the role of batting coach.

Daniel Vettori has been rested for the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan, starting on Sunday, and Ross Taylor will lead the team in his absence.

Peter McGlashan is likely to be wicketkeeper with Brendon McCullum still not 100 per cent after suffering a back injury, Greatbatch added.

"Daniel Vettori is making good progress but the back issue requires ongoing management," he added. "As such, he will not take part in the Twenty20 series to give him time to recover and he is expected to be fully fit for the Test series starting on January 7.

"Brendon (McCullum) is keen to play and we are monitoring his recovery closely. He will undergo fitness testing later this week and we will make a call closer to the start of the match."

The new selection panel, made up of Greatbatch, Glen Turner and Lance Cairns, also named a 30-man preliminary squad for next year's World Cup, to be staged in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The squad, to be cut to 15 players by January 19, included seven uncapped one-day players in Young, Brent Arnel, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Adam Milne, Rob Nicol and Luke Woodcock.

The Black Caps will play six one-day internationals against Pakistan before they travel to the February 19-April 2 World Cup.