New Zealand recall Sinclair to face Sri Lanka
by CricketArchive staff reporter
DateLine: 3rd December 2006
Mathew Sinclair's two-year exile from New Zealand Test cricket has
ended with the two-time double centurion recalled Saturday to the New
Zealand squad to play Sri Lanka.
Sinclair, and the inclusion of specialist opener Craig Cumming, were
the major features of another top order reshuffle for the two-Test
series, which starts in Christchurch on Thursday.
An untimely knee injury to swing bowler Kyle Mills sees inexperienced
duo Michael Mason and Iain O'Brien return to bolster the pace attack
spearheaded by Shane Bond, though one is likely to be omitted from the
Cumming, who scored 74 on debut in Christchurch against the Australians
in March 2005, will partner Jamie How as coach John Bracewell opts for
specialist openers, ending a trend of employing makeshift starters.
"We felt trying to ask guys to move up the order had been difficult for
their skill set and we've gone back to looking at selecting options who
choose to open rather than being asked to," Bracewell said. "Jamie How
is the incumbent and Sinclair and Cumming have been the form batsmen.
In Sinclair's case, it is a continuation of the runs he scored (in
domestic cricket) last season and Cumming has had Test experience."
Sinclair, who made 214 on debut against the West Indies in 1999, has
rarely been an automatic selection and last played against Australia in
Adelaide in November 2004.
Mills, the Black Caps stand out bowler during last month's Champions
Trophy in India, has broken down with a patella tendon injury, while
O'Brien and Mason, who have just three tests between them, are both on
the comeback trail from back injuries.
New Zealand squad: (from) 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
and Ian O'Brien.