BlackCaps aim for more aggression
New Zealand cricket fans have received possibly the best news of their summer with dropped captain Ross Taylor tweeting he's available for England’s tour here next month.
To show there's no hard feelings, he's also wished the team well in South Africa – and that’s support they'll need ahead of the second test starting tonight in Port Elizabeth.
The republic's proving a testing battleground so the BlackCaps have called up some locally made weapons.
One South African export Colin Munro, a standout for New Zealand in the T20, left Durban at age 15 and comes in for the injured James Franklin.
Captain Brendon McCullum says he’ll be used with the bat and the ball.
“It gives Colin Munro an opportunity to make his debut, he's going to bat at seven for us and he's going to be used in a fourth seamers role.”
McCullum says that as well as having some new players, the BlackCaps will need a new approach against South Africa.
“When you look at South Africa, that they bowl well especially at the tail as well, and from our point of view we want our bowlers to be a little bit more aggressive.”
The search for that attitude, which was lacking in the first test capitulation, has spurred a recall for another former South African - Neil Wagner - ahead of Chris Martin.
“We felt that the most aggressive option of Neil Wagner, especially with the potentially drier pitch and his ability to reverse swing the ball, is going to serve us better,” says McCullum.
St George's Park, hosting it's first test in six years, is the most familiar pitch McCullum's seen for a while.
“It's meant to be slightly slower and more accustomed to what we're used to back home but that's the challenge of playing overseas, the conditions of Cape Town are different.”
With a first test contribution of no wickets and 13 runs, Jeetan Patel has also got the nod.