New Zealand v West Indies preview
New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the opening Test against West Indies, starting on Tuesday in Dunedin.
Williamson failed to recover in time from a broken thumb and his absence opens the door for Aaron Redmond to make his international return.
Redmond, the 34-year-old Otago right-hander, averaged 23 in seven Tests back in 2008 but has been in good form in domestic cricket over the last two seasons to earn another chance.
"It was a tough decision, but in the end it was a touch too early for Kane," said New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum.
"He probably could have played, but in the grand scheme of the season we've got in front of us and how valuable he is to us, we saw it as a more safe option to let him miss this one out and have another week to recover."
The loss of Williamson, a handy spin bowler, has ensured a start for leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who made his New Zealand debut on the tour of Bangladesh two months ago. Seamer Doug Bracewell is 12th man.
West Indies come into the series straight from a tour of India, where they lost both Tests by an innings.
A decent covering of grass is expected on the University Oval wicket, meaning the tourists are likely to bolster their pace attack with either Shannon Gabriel or Sheldon Cottrell in support of Tino Best and Darren Sammy.
Spinner Shane Shillingford is available despite having his bowling action reported to the International Cricket Council by the umpires during the second Test in India in November.
Shillingford must submit to independent analysis but is allowed to play while the process is completed.
New Zealand: Anderson, Boult, Fulton, McCullum (capt), Redmond, Rutherford, Sodhi, Southee, Taylor, Wagner, Watling (wkt)
West Indies squad: Best, Brathwaite, Bravo, Chanderpaul, Cottrell, Deonarine, Edwards, Gabriel, Narine, Permaul, Powell, Ramdin (Wkt), Sammy (capt), Samuels, Shillingford, Walton (wkt)