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Kiwis announce unchanged squad for Tests against India

Auckland, Jan 26, 2014, (IANS)
New Zealand's Corey Anderson, second from left, celebrates with teammates after dismissing India's Ajinkya Rahane for 3 in their third one day international cricket match at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. New Zealand Sunday picked an unchanged 12-member Test squad for the two-match Test Series against India, beginning Feb 6 here at the Eden Park. AP Photo.

New Zealand Sunday picked an unchanged 12-member Test squad for the two-match Test Series against India, beginning Feb 6 here at the Eden Park.

The 12 players named are the same side as the one used in the second and third Tests against the West Indies in December.

Jesse Ryder will travel with the squad as cover for Ross Taylor, whose second child is due during the Test series.

Bruce Edgar, general manager (selection) New Zealand cricket, said they have retained a settled squad despite the fact that there are plenty of players knocking on the door."We've been really pleased with how this group of players has performed and they've been rewarded with consistent selection.

"There's a lot of talented players in the wings, with the likes of Hamish Bennett, Jimmy Neesham, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder all pushing hard to be involved. That brings out the best in players, and poses some hard questions for Mike and I," said Edgar.

"We've made a lot of progress in the Test format recently and the two matches against India will be another chance to continue that development. India are a class side and will give us a good gauge of where the team is at," he added.

Black Caps head Coach Mike Hesson says India shapes up as a massive challenge, but also a great opportunity.

"We were thrilled the way we played to beat the West Indies 2-0, but realise we'll have to step it up another gear when playing India.

"It's an exciting challenge and we look forward to giving it our all," said Hesson.

Test squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Jesse Ryder, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Brian Watling and Kane Williamson


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