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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum ponders spin dilemma

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum admits he will wait until the last minute before deciding if spinner Bruce Martin or seamer Doug Bracewell will fill the final place in his bowling attack for the first Test against England.
McCullum's side open their two-match Test series against England at Lord's on Thursday and the skipper's only selection dilemma is whether to go with an all-seam attack to take advantage of the expected overcast conditions in north London.

Martin played in the three drawn Tests against England in New Zealand earlier this year, but he could be dropped before the toss on Thursday if McCullum decides a spinner will be of little use in weather more suited to pace bowlers.
That brings Bracewell back into the equation after a spell out of the team that started when he cut his foot while cleaning up after a get together at his house.
Bracewell had been hoping to nudge ahead of Neil Wagner in the pecking order, but the latter performed strongly in the tourists' warm-up fixtures.
"Wagner definitely plays," McCullum said at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
"It's either Martin or Bracewell for the last position, otherwise it's the same team from back home.
"It's just a balance issue of trying to work out whether to play the four seamers or use the same set-up as the three Tests back home.
"That's something we have to look at in the morning before making a call.
"Overhead conditions are something we have to be aware of and we have to take into account the forecast too. If the game does get shortened (by rain) you look at how that impacts on the spinner's ability to impose himself on the game.
"I don't think we'll lose much either way, it's just a slight tweak of the balance."
While New Zealand ponder their options, England are likely to include off-spinner Graeme Swann as he returns to action after missing the series in New Zealand with an elbow injury. (AFP)

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