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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Williamson, Bennett new faces in India-bound NZ Test squad

Williamson, Bennett new faces in India-bound NZ Test squad

October 24, 2010 17:32 IST

Rookie batsman Kane Williamson and pacer Hamish Bennett were the new faces in New Zealand's 15-member Test squad announced on Sunday for a three Test match series against India next month.

Williamson, who was the only Kiwi batsman to crack a ton during their 0-4 thrashing by Bangladesh in an ODI series earlier this month, was rewarded for his consistent performance.

The 23-year-old Canterbury fast bowler, Bennett also earned a call up for the national duty when the New Zealand selectors picked a 15-member squad for the Test series commencing from November 4 in Ahmedabad.

Kane Williamson"Kane Williamson is an impressive young talent and his game continues to improve with his involvement in the national team, while Bennett did everything asked on the recent tour of Bangladesh and offers the side a genuine pace option," said selector Mark Greatbatch.

Besides captain Daniel Vettori, the team would also have proven performers such as Brendon McCullum, who has been included as a specialist batsman after quitting wicket-keeping, and Ross Taylor when they face Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men in the latter's backyard.

Six players of the squad, including Martin Guptill, Tim McIntosh and Jeetan Patel are fresh from a three four-day match series, which New Zealand A team clinched 2-0 against Zimbabwe.

Brent Arnel, Chris Martin and Gareth Hopkins were the other players, who got the call to the India-bound squad for their good show against the African side.

Hopkins was the only specialist wicketkeeper in the squad.

"The group of players coming from Zimbabwe have had the ideal preparation with three hard-fought matches in difficult conditions," Greatbatch said.

"The rest of the squad have been training hard and are keen to prove they are better than the recent performance in Bangladesh. We are well aware that our recent performance are not good and we need to improve if we were to compete with a very strong Indian side. The team are determined to do so," he added.

After the opening Test Ahmedabad from November 4, the two teams will travel to Hyderabad (November 12-16) and Nagpur (November 20-24) for second and third Test respectively.

New Zealand will also play a five-match ODI series, beginning on November 28 at Guwahati, for which the team will be announced later.

Squad: Daniel Vettori (c), Brent Arnel, Hamish Bennett, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins (wk), Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tim McIntosh, Andy McKay, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, B J Watling, Kane Williamson.

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