New Zealand boost batters for final Test

Wellington: New Zealand have bolstered their batting roster and axed misfiring opener Rob Nicol and unsuccessful fast bowler Brent Arnel for their must-win third and final Test against South Africa.

South Africa go into the Wellington Test, which starts on Friday, leading the series 1-0 after crushing New Zealand in the second Test by nine wickets in less than three days.

In the 14-man squad named Sunday, Daniel Flynn has been recalled to open the innings after last playing for New Zealand three years ago and middle-order batsman Dean Brownlie returns from injury.

Brownlie, New Zealand`s best performer against the Australian quicks last year, is to play in a provincial match this week to prove his fitness.

"We are mindful that Dean Brownlie is only just making a return to competitive cricket following injury and will keep a close eye on his progress, national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said.

"Although he has been included in the squad, his selection for the Test will largely depend on how he pulls through the match for Canterbury."

Flynn, who has had a successful domestic season "is likely to join Martin Guptill at the top of the order," Littlejohn said.

New Zealand`s limited batting stocks were exposed by South African quick bowlers Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn in the second Test.

In the first innings they lost five wickets for no runs in a disastrous slump from 133-2 to 133-7 before being all out for 185. In the second innings they were all out for 168 with the last five wickets falling in the space of 21 runs.

New Zealand are likely to take six batsmen and four bowlers into the final Test, with captain Ross Taylor saying it was important they play aggressively.

"We`re one-nil down in the series and we have to try and draw the series. We`re eighth in the world and we want to get up those rankings and you don`t get up by drawing Test matches or losing."

New Zealand: Ross Taylor (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Andrew Ellis, Daniel Flynn, Mark Gillespie, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tarun Nethula, Kruger van Wyk, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson.


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