England v New Zealand: Tourists resist temptation to recall Daniel Vettori for Headingley Test
Last Updated: 24/05/13 10:39am
New Zealand have decided against rushing Daniel Vettori back from injury for the Headingley Test against England on Friday.
Vettori, a 112-Test veteran, has been sidelined for almost a year due to an Achilles injury and was due to make his comeback in the one-day series against England that follows the Tests.
After making good progress in his recovery he joined up early and was under consideration to play in Leeds after fellow left-arm spinner Bruce Martin was ruled out by a calf injury.
But Vettori will not be parachuted into the starting XI as he is not sure if he is ready for a five-day contest.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said: "Dan, (coach) Mike Hesson and I spoke about how Dan was feeling and he wasn't quite confident he'd be able to get through five days.
"His Test future is something we need to discuss regarding what he wants to prioritise in his career, but we certainly see a place for him.
"We've also got the Champions Trophy later this month and that came into our thinking. We gave him every chance to play in this game but he didn't quite make it and didn't want to let the team down."
Vettori's absence means Doug Bracewell will come into New Zealand's line-up as part of an all-seam attack - supplemented by top-order batsman Kane Williamson's off-spin.
McCullum admits it is a gamble to go in without a specialist spinner given the often flat nature of the Headingley pitch in recent times, although the ball tends to swing when there is cloud cover.
He said: "It depends what happens overhead, we are a little bit committed with the four-seamer option now. But if we get some overcast conditions and the ball does swing around a little bit, we've got bowlers who can certainly extract good assistance."
McCullum will keep wicket in place of the injured BJ Watling (knee) as one-off and Martin Guptill comes in at number six in a game New Zealand must win to earn a share of the two-match series.
England's batsmen will be aiming to match the standards set by their bowlers in the opener at Lord's.
Captain Alastair Cook hopes England can maintain the momentum gained against New Zealand when the second Test starts on Saturday.
Despite being twice dismissed for under 250, England won by 170 runs and need only a draw in Leeds to take the series.
The Lord's result owed much to the efforts of James Anderson and, in particular, Stuart Broad, who claimed 7-44 as New Zealand collapsed to 68 all out chasing 239 for victory.
After Headingley, England go into limited-overs mode until the start of the Ashes at Trent Bridge on July 10 and, with Kevin Pietersen expected to be fit to return by then, it represents an important chance for the likes of opener Nick Compton and number six Jonathan Bairstow to make a case for their continued inclusion.
England have named an unchanged 12-man squad with local boy Tim Bresnan again likely to be the man to miss out if everyone turns up fit in the morning. Ian Bell has recovered sufficiently from tonsillitis to retain his place.
England (from): A Cook (capt), N Compton, J Trott, I Bell, J Root, J Bairstow, M Prior (wkt), S Broad, G Swann, S Finn, J Anderson, T Bresnan
New Zealand: P Fulton, H Rutherford, K Williamson, R Taylor, D Brownlie, M Guptill, B McCullum (capt, wkt), T Southee, N Wagner, D Bracewell, T Boult
Umpires: S Davis (Aus), M Erasmus (SA)
Third umpire: A Dar (Pak)
Match referee: D Boon (Aus)