McCullum ponders Sodhi, Anderson debuts

New Zealand

Captain Brendon McCullum contemplated the composition of the New Zealand XI, ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh, which will get underway in Chittagong on Wednesday.

Captain Brendon McCullum contemplated the composition of the New Zealand XI, ahead of the first Test against Bangladesh, which will get underway in Chittagong on Wednesday.

The squad for the two-fixture series includes two uncapped players in spinner Ish Sodhi and all-rounder Corey Anderson, while the veteran Daniel Vettori and batsman Martin Guptill were not considered due to injury.

"Sodhi has a big opportunity to make his debut. The conditions over here will suit spin bowlers, and his ability to bowl the variations will bring him in the reckoning," said McCullum.

"As Vettori said, Ish is an incredible talent. He is a rough diamond at this point in time. If he does get the nod, we want to let him express himself. I want to protect him by giving the right fields and encourage him."

The 22-year-old Anderson impressed for the A side against their Indian counterparts in Visakhapatnam recently, scoring a fine century and half-ton, leaving the talented Dean Brownlie's position in the Test XI in doubt.

"If we do decide on an all-rounder, he needs to bat in the top six. Corey's performance has banged on the door. We have to work out between him and Dean, who we require in that middle order, and who is going to be most effective against the Bangladesh spin bowlers," added McCullum.

Bangladesh have recalled the 31-year-old Abdur Razzak, though he is not likely to be selected ahead of fellow slow bowler Sohag Gazi. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, too, will benefit from conditions conducive to turn.

"There are a few surprises in the Bangladesh team. It's hard to get footage of these guys, but you get an idea of what they bowl and bat like. Few of us have played against these guys and talked to guys back home who have been involved in tournaments here," concluded McCullum.

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