Wellington (New Zealand), Apr.1 (ANI): New Zealand must make one of their biggest selection gambles in recent times when the third test against India starts at the Basin Reserve on Friday.
A rehabilitated Tim Southee has been included in the 13-man squad for the must-win test and now he must play at the expense of James Franklin.
Yes, a bowler for a batting all-rounder.
It might sound ludicrous to suggest lengthening New Zealand's tail on the basis of one substantial total (619-9) on a featherbed, but the third test has to be won, not to mention that fresh legs will be vital after the marathon effort of the bowlers in Napier.
Such a tactic would see the carefree Southee at No 8, followed by Jeetan Patel, Iain O'Brien and Chris Martin quite some tail.
Franklin will feel hard done by after scoring a half-century in Napier but the selectors seem more influenced by how the runs are made than by how many are scored, given both Jamie How and Aaron Redmond have been dropped after knocks over 50.
Franklin's half-century was a mixed bag. He is also yet to take a wicket in two tests, though he caught the eye putting in the hard yards on the final day in Napier.
The obvious course of action is for off spinner Jeetan Patel to make way for Southee, but Patel looked more likely to get a breakthrough than Vettori in Napier and deserves another run. (ANI)