New Zealand named an unchanged Test squad on Sunday to face India in the two-match series that sees the continued rehabilitation of Jesse Ryder. The left-handed batsman has been included as cover for former skipper Ross Taylor, whose wife is expecting their second child.
If Taylor leaves the squad, Ryder, an opener who last played a Test in December, 2011, will be picked to bat in the middle-order. Ryder was recalled to the New Zealand squad for the first time since February 2012 when he was included in the limited-overs squad that played against West Indies. He struck a century in the same game where Corey Anderson struck the fastest ODI century.
He was dropped from the national squad on disciplinary grounds and last year served a six-month suspension for taking banned stimulants during which he also suffered serious injuries following an assault outside a Christchurch bar.
Kiwi Test openers Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford will play for New Zealand XI in the two-day warm-up game against India, to be played in Whangarei on February 2-3. Martin Guptill, who struck a century in the third ODI against India in Auckland does not find a place in what is basically a 12-member squad.
New Zealand Test squad:
Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult,Doug Bracewell, Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Jesse Ryder, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson
Peter Fulton (c), Roald Badenhorst, Jono Boult, Anton Devcich, Tipene Friday, Jono Hickey, Shawn Hicks, Iain McPeake, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Seifert (w), Ill Tugaga, Henry Walsh.