Vettori won't play at Headingley

New Zealand

Daniel Vettori's Test future is in doubt after he was ruled out of New Zealand's clash with England at Headingley on Friday.

Daniel Vettori's Test future is in doubt after he was ruled out of New Zealand's clash with England at Headingley on Friday.

The former captain, who has not played a Test since last July having struggled with Achilles problems, was parachuted into the squad as a late replacement for the injured Bruce Martin.

But after two days of training with the group, there is no guarantee the 34-year-old can currently withstand the rigours of a five-day contest.

As one of the countries most consistent performers in recent years, the Black Caps would be loathe to draw a line under a Test career that started in 1997, but current skipper Brendon McCullum admits there are concerns.

"Dan is out of the game, unfortunately. We gave it our best shot with him but he didn't scrub up that well today and didn't have the confidence to go into a five-day game," said McCullum.

"It was just a bridge too far. It would be silly for us to sweep away 112 Test matches, nearly 400 wickets and six Test centuries. But it is something we're going to have to discuss down the track. It's going to be a rolling decision, a rolling conversation that we need to have with Dan as to what he needs to prioritise with where he's at in his career.

"It would be nice to think that he'd be able to play every game in all three forms but it's not realistic. But I certainly see a place for him in the team."
With Vettori joining Martin (calf) and BJ Watling (knee) on the treatment table, New Zealand will go into the must-win match showing two enforced changes to the side beaten by 170 runs at Lord's.

Martin Guptill will return to the side at number six, with McCullum taking the wicketkeeping gloves from Watling.

It is a role McCullum gave up almost three years ago, after deciding his dual role was having a detrimental effect on his fitness.

McCullum is a consummate team man, though, and was ready to step into the breach – albeit on an emergency basis.

"I didn't need convincing because it was the right thing to do for the team," he said.
"You do what is required of yourself for the betterment of your team. That's what I'm trying to do here but I stress it's a one-off situation.

"I've said in the past I would take up those challenges for the team.

"But it's definitely not a long-term thing. As I said previously, my body can't hold up to the demands of keeping long-term in Test cricket."

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