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 NZ XI:
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.