New Zealand’s Test openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton have been axed from the central contract list for 2014-15.The out of form openers have been cut from the squad and newer players have been given the opportunity.
Fast bowler Dough Bracewell, Grant Elliott, spinner Bruce Martin and batsman Dean Brownlie didn’t make the cut with six changes being made in 20-man contract list.
Promising fast bowlers make the cut
Mark Craig’s manoeuvre against the West Indies earned him a place in the list, while rookie bowler James Neesham, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, fast bowlers Adam Milne and Matt Henry along with wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi have been picked for the contract list.
Selection manager Bruce Edgar said all the new players have all earned their places on the list and they would like to invest on them.
"We've had a very strong summer followed by the Test series victory in the West Indies where a number of younger players put their hands up for consideration," Edgar said.
"Two of those integral to the series win in the West Indies were spinners Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig. While we accept that Mark and Ish are by no means the finished product, they are promising bowlers that we want to invest time in,” he added.
Though Mark Craig seems to have benefited with Daniel Vettori battling with a back injury and hasn’t played since June last year. But Vettori is keen to play next year’s world cup in 2015.
"He's working pretty hard," Edgar said. "I hear he's pretty fit. It's just a matter of form and we would look seriously at him if we know he's available."
Uncertainity over openers
"Adam and Matt are two exciting young bowlers that if we manage well have got a big future in all forms of the game. Jimmy and Luke are both consistent members of our shorter-form teams and they've recently been selected in our Test squad as well."
There is an uncertainty as to who would take the opening position. The Kiwi opening slot is up for grabbing, with Tom Latham the only specialist opener available.
Both Jesse Ryder and Bracewell ran into problems again by staying late at an Auckland bar the day before the first Test against India. And Bracewell had suffered a broken foot injury at that time, as he was doing everything right as far as the selectors where concerned.
Bracewell has been out of cricketing action since January and Ryder is playing for Essex in county cricket, where he has scored 317 runs at a decent average of 31.70.
Contract list: Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.