Hesson Gets It Right for Upcoming Test Series

On Friday morning, Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson named the strongest team possible for the up coming Australian test series. 

While all the selections are to be expected there is one name who is extremely unlucky to miss out; Neil Wagner.

Wagner’s bowling statistics are nothing to write home about with an average of 34.48 and strike rate of 60.6. What the statistics don’t pick up, however, is the heart he brings to the bowling crease.

On the tough batting-friendly pitches that aren’t doing much for the bowlers, Wagner is at his prime.

Countless times when Southee or Boult have not been able to make breakthroughs, Wagner has come on and bowled long spells which have kept the pressure on the batsman leading to a breakthrough. I believe this skill set will be sorely missed in the Perth test match.

Hesson has decided to select the two No.6 all rounders saying; “a lot of our recent success has been based on the value of our No.6 batsman bowling some overs, and we’re comfortable continuing in that vein.”

I agree with the decision to take two No.6 all rounder’s, however I felt Luke Ronchi didn’t deserve selection.

Ronchi during the World Cup, England and African series has been extremely out of form except for his Test Debut against England. Ronchi has been selected as back up wicketkeeper, I don’t see any merit to this thinking.

Tom Latham has proven himself as a great back up wicketkeeper. I would see more merit in keeping Luke Ronchi in New Zealand to play Plunket Shield matches or New Zealand A tour to get back into the form that we saw from him pre World Cup.

The selection of Hamish Rutherford comes across to me as very odd.

By having him in the squad says we are still having the conversation over who is the best opening partnership. I believe from recent England and African tours this debate is dead. Tom Latham and Martin Guptill have proven they have the goods and are the men that should be opening the batting for us.

Now onto the important part who out of these 15 players would make the 11. The top 5 select themselves being:

  • Martin Guptill
  • Tom Latham
  • Kane Willamson
  • Ross Taylor
  • Brendon McCullum

The number 6 all rounder spot seems to be a big debate in the media. I see it as quite an easy decision;  James Nessham. He has great test batting technique and is handy enough with the ball. With this series I would like to see Brendon chuck the ball to him more.

Over the past few years while we have won a record number of test matches our 5th bowling option is always been underused. I personally think this has seen the injuries that have happened to Boult and Southee as a major reason for this occurring. Nessham is economic enough and picked up enough wickets to deserve more overs.

The next four are as follows:

  • BJ Watling
  • Tim Southee
  • Mark Craig
  • Trent Boult

This leaves one last seamer spot. I have really enjoyed seeing Matt Henry rise through the ranks over the past year. I would still select Doug Bracewell because of the skill he showed during the African series along with having the experience of being the bowler responsible for winning the test match against Australia In Hobart. I can easily see the selectors swap between these two players throughout the test series.

I am really looking forward to this test series considering the recent retirements of Australian players giving New Zealand the best chance we have ever had to win a test series in Australia.

The full team Mike Hesson’s has selected is as follows:

Brendon McCullum (captain)
Corey Anderson
Trent Boult
Doug Bracewell
Mark Craig
Martin Guptill
Matt Henry
Tom Latham
James Neesham
Luke Ronchi
Hamish Rutherford
Tim Southee
Ross Taylor
BJ Watling
Kane Williamson

By Nathan Pont


4 thoughts on “Hesson Gets It Right for Upcoming Test Series

  1. Not sure I would term it best selection, but it is certainly 95% or more. It is hard to see how Rutherford keeps his place and Ronchi is definitely getting into that category sadly.


    1. I agree. I see the selection the “best selection” because we are able to field our strongest 11 being injury free *touch wood*. I was listening to the media announcement and Hesson talked about how he felt there was enough cover in the middle order having the two allrounders. He said they selected Ronchi because they spend a long time in Western Australia and keeping in mind what happened to BJ in the recent England series. Dean Brownlie is the other option and he has always done “ok”. I just see his age at 31 being a limiting factor. The same argument could be put against Ronchi but I can’t think of any other performing wicket keepers and obviously the selectors must not have been 100% convinced about Latham opening and being potential back up wicket keeper.


      1. But with WA you could also say that Wagner’s toiling would complement the two other quicks. Yeah I agree with you about BJ/ Ronchi and it’s a tad hard to have a back up keeper who is already opening. But as Matt said, there are two all-rounders.

        I just wonder why they thought Rutherford would benefit from this tour, if he isn’t playing what’s he doing and if he’s playing he’s not exactly adding to the team. Shouldn’t he just go back to A tours and Otago? (Yeah I definitely don’t have an ulterior motive there at all). I just think it’s worth having the next new guy there- I mean could he actually be worse than Rutherford? Possibly, but not likely.

        The eleven do pick themselves which is a great position for New Zealand to find themselves in. I just think that with McCullum having the potential of scaling back where he’s involved does mean that we need to have a look for a number 5 in the not too distant future. Neesham is the obvious choice there, but that would mean playing two-all rounders with Anderson at 6. Or is there another batter who can play 5 and leave Neesham to play #6 and 5th bowler?


  2. I agree 100% that James Neesham should be our first choice #6 batsman. However he does need to improve his bowling, but he is there for his batting mostly over Corey Anderson. Matt Henry played well in England so he should be given first crack against the Aussies. Other than that we should play the same team as we did against the poms. So our batting order should look like this: Guptill, Latham, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum (c), Neesham, Watling, Craig, Southee, Henry, Boult. I believe that Wagner should have been in the squad because he hasn’t done anything wrong to not be there and if a batsman goes down then we can put Neesham as low as 4 and Anderson 5,6 or 7. That is why we don’t need Rutherford, just look at his average is is horrible. Ronchi is there because of his good innings against the poms, but if he is given a few chances and doesn’t preform then we can look at de Border..


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