Southee, Tuffey to be called up for Wellington Test

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Wellington, Dec.2 (ANI): Northern Districts pace bowlers Tim Southee and Daryl Tuffey are in contention for the third seamer's slot for the second test to be played against Pakistan at the Basin Reserve Ground here.

Southee will replace the injured Shane Bond, who is out with an abdominal injury, the NZPA reports.

Southee played for New Zealand in the limited overs series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. His last test match was against India at Wellington in April.

Southee will join the side this morning.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed he had been cleared to play after a one-match suspension for an incident in a Plunket Shield match for the Northern Knights last week.

Southee was reported for unacceptable behaviour after using inappropriate language when Wellington was batting.

NZC had initially lodged an appeal against the one-match suspension, but withdrew it yesterday after receiving further evidence about the incident from players on both sides.

That evidence indicated Southee's remarks were not directed at a player, which could have been grounds for a longer suspension.

Southee has acknowledged his behaviour was inappropriate and has accepted responsibility.

It resulted in him missing a district association match for Northland last weekend.

Tuffey's last test was against England at Leeds in 2004.

The 31-year-old has played 22 tests, taking 66 wickets at an average of 31.16 but it appeared his career would stall before both he and Bond announced their returns from the international wilderness.

Tuffey would have been surplus to requirements in Wellington before Bond's injury and had asked to play in Auckland's Plunket Shield match tomorrow. But now he's back on the big stage.

Tuffey is in good nick. The tall seamer was rated the pick of the fast bowlers in domestic cricket last summer and snared 2-47 in 19 overs against Pakistan in a warmup game last month.

"I did pretty well so it was good to have a run against them. I've played Pakistan a few times in my test career and I've done pretty well against them [24 wickets at an average of 26.5], which is kind of nice to have in the back of the mind.

"If my name is read out, which is obviously looking more and more likely with Shane being out, I'm just looking forward to the opportunity."

Tuffey admitted he had given up on again playing tests for New Zealand while playing in the ICL but immediately set his sights high when he returned last year.

Tuffey said he was unsure if he was now a better bowler than five years ago but felt both wiser and fitter than in those days. With constant rain in Wellington over the last two days, he can expect helpful conditions if selected alongside Chris Martin and Iain O'Brien.

He has a score to settle too.

Tuffey's last test at the Basin was against Pakistan in 2003 when speedster Shoaib Akhtar pulled victory from the jaws of defeat. "So I'd like to rectify that, [and] beat Pakistan again and win the series." (ANI)

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