Batsmen Mathew Sinclair and Craig Cumming and fast bowlers Michael Mason Iain O'Brien were recalled to the New Zealand cricket team on Saturday for December's two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
New ball bowler Kyle Mills has been omitted from the team after suffering a knee injury while top-order batsman Hamish Marshall has been dropped after an extended period of poor form. Cumming will likely open the batting with Jamie How in the first Test which starts in Wellington on December 7, 2006. Shane Bond will spearhead the bowling attack with James Franklin and Chris Martin and either O'Brien or Mason may be omitted as the New Zealand is reduced from 13 to 12.
Sinclair, who made 214 on debut against the West Indies in 1999, last played for New Zealand against Australia at Adelaide in November, 2004. Cumming scored 74 on debut against Australia in 2005 but has been similarly unable to cement a Test place. Coach John Bracewell said that the composition of New Zealand's top order had still to be decided but the New Zealand selectors now favored specialist openers instead of adapting other top-order batmsen to the opening role.
"Jamie How is the incumbent and Sinclair and Cumming have been the form batsmen," Bracewell said.
"In Sinclair's case, it is a continuation of the runs he scored last season and Cumming has had Test experience. In the end, it came down to a sheer weight of runs compared with the other possible candidates."
Bracewell said the bowling attack had similarly been chosen on the basis of current form.
"O'Brien has been the form bowler, especially his performances on very good batting strips, and Mason's efforts have been very encouraging," he said.
"We are rewarding guys who have been successful in the early rounds of the domestic competition."
New Zealand team: Stephen Fleming, captain, Craig Cumming, Jamie How, Mathew Sinclair, Nathan Astle, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, James Franklin, Shane Bond, Chris Martin, Michael Mason, Iain O'Brien.