Christchurch: Corey Anderson will miss the first Test against Sri Lanka on December 26 due to a groin injury. Anderson, who sustained the injury during the fourth ODI against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, missed the final ODI and it is uncertain whether he will play in the second Test.
In a surprise move, Hamish Rutherford has been selected in the squad and he is all set to open the batting with Tom Latham, indicating that Brendon McCullum will move down the order. McCullum opened in the Test series against Pakistan and he scored a brisk 202 in the third and final Test in Sharjah.
Rutherford had a good start to his Test career when he smashed 171 against England in Dunedin in March 2013 but he has struggled since then. In his last four Tests, he has averaged just 11.3 and he was dropped from the team after New Zealand's tour of West Indies in July 2014.
Anderson's injury opens the door for Dean Brownlie to come back into the Test team after a gap of 18 months.
Brownlie last played a Test against England in Leeds in June 2013 where he scored 2 and 25. In the recent ODI series against Pakistan, Brownlie chipped in with some solid knocks but failed to get a big score. He scored 137 runs at a solid average of 34.25, giving the team some good starts at the top.
New Zealand play two Tests and seven ODIs against Sri Lanka, who are arriving here for a Test series after a gap of seven years. In the last series between these two teams in New Zealand in 2006/07, the series was shared 1-1.
New Zealand squad for first Test: Tom Latham, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (c), Dean Brownlie, BJ Watling (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Mark Craig, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Doug Bracewell