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Jeff Wilson in NZ squad for Twenty20 match

Published: Sunday, February 13, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Wellington:New Zealand cricket coach John Bracewell faced a series of injuries to key players as he began the delicate balancing act of picking a fit side to face Australia.

Bracewell named a predictable squad of 13 for Thursday's tour-opening Twenty20 match in Auckland, but delayed naming his side for Saturday's first one-day international in Wellington before assessing various niggles.

Included in the 13 were injury-troubled bowlers Kyle Mills (Achilles tendon), Jeff Wilson (shoulder), Daniel Vettori (back) and Scott Styris (knee). Along with frontline pacemen Chris Cairns and Daryl Tuffey they all missed Sunday's State of Origin match as a precaution.

Wilson was the notable inclusion, having made an encouraging return from rugby to the black cricket uniform in last month's World 11 series.

Having not played a one-day international since 1993, also against Australia, it seems Wilson is destined to add another leaf to his glittering sporting career.

New ball bowler Mills faces a fitness test Monday before Bracewell names the one-day side as he tries to nurse his bowlers through the next two months.

"This is an exceptional season now, playing five one-dayers and then five tests on the trot, there'll be some attrition and we're going to end up using some resources," he said.

"We've got to be quite careful and it may need some changes from time to time."

Andre Adams, named in the Twenty20 squad after recovering from a virus, will likely be considered during the one-day series along with fringe men James Franklin and Tama Canning, and in-form domestic bowlers Graeme Aldridge and Lance Hamilton.

Bracewell said the rotation policy, which has been successfully used by depth-laden Australia, was necessary in such a packed season.

It was first tried with caution on the October tour of Bangladesh when Jacob Oram, currently sidelined with a back stress injury, and captain Stephen Fleming were rested.

"It's a little bit harder to make that gutsy decision to rest one of your vital players when you're playing No 1 in the world," Bracewell said.

"It's a big dilemma for us but we're trying to think of the bigger picture."

New Zealand squad: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Hamish Marshall, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Andre Adams, Jeff Wilson, Kyle Mills, Daryl Tuffey.

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