Auckland, June 25: While other aging players like Australia's Brett Lee brush aside Test cricket to concentrate on limited-overs cricket, former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori wants to put his participation in the shorter formats of game on hiatus as he is keen to pile on more appearances to his 105 Tests.
"My reason for taking a break from the shorter forms of the game is primarily so that I can preserve my body and continue to represent the New Zealand in Test cricket," Vettori said.
But even so, Vettori doesn't rule out a return to one-day cricket. "I also believe a break now will give me the best possible chance to take up one-day cricket again in the next couple of years and, if all goes well, make the World Cup team for 2015."
Vettori has been combating a recurring knee problem. He first injured his right knee during New Zealand's World Cup league game against Pakistan in March. He then sat out the rest of his side's league games, before returning to play in the quarter-final and semi-final matches and hobbled right through the IPL with the wound.
"Part of the break is around injuries," he told the Weekend Herald, "and trying to stay a little bit fresher and I'll reassess the situation at the end of the contract year and go again from there."
The youngest man to play Test cricket for New Zealand, joining at the age of 18, he is one of an elite band of players to have managed the double of 300 Test wickets and 3000 runs.
With 345 Test wickets in the bag, it is quite probable that Vettori could inch up towards Richard Hadlee's 431 dismissals, while only Stephen Fleming, who played 111 games, has played more Tests for New Zealand.
New Zealand have a busy summer ahead, playing Tests against Zimbabwe, Australia and South Africa and Vettori hoped to be fully-prepared for the itinerary. "I want to play Tests as long as I can," he said." That's the part of the game I've always loved. I want to be fully fit and prepared and ready to go for those, and sometimes a lack of preparation can hinder your test performance.
To further his career, Vettori who has relinquished his captaincy to Ross Taylor, would need to avoid the stress fractures in his back as well.
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive Justin Vaughan said he respected Vettori's decision and was delighted to know he has kept his options open for the future. "Dan has been a great servant for a long time now and I believe this decision is not only in the his best interest but also for the Blackcaps," said Vaughan.
Vettori will resume playing first-class cricket for the Northern Districts and will also return to play for the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the IPL. He is likely to feature in the Plunket Shield as well as the HRV Cup Twenty20 competitions for ND.
With offspinner Nathan McCullum and left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock having been chosen in the World Cup 2011 squad, Vettori said he would be "happy to fight" for a place in the national side, in the event that another spinner becomes worthy of staking his claim in the shorter versions.