Wellington wicketkeeper and former Australia
international Luke Ronchi will captain a New Zealand XI to play
England in a four-day warm-up match next week.
Ronchi is vying with BJ Watling for the wicketkeeping spot in
the three-test ANZ series against England. Watling showed
fine form recently in South Africa scoring back-to-back half
centuries in New Zealand's second test defeat in Port
Dannevirke-born Ronchi is the fifth top run-scorer in the
Plunket Shield this season, having scored 760 runs at an
average of 69.09, including four centuries.
The New Zealand XI includes eight players who have played for
the Black Caps but also reflects the next generation of New
Zealand cricket, said national selection manager Kim
"This game gives us a great opportunity to see how these
youngsters cope with playing a test side ranked at two in the
world," he said.
Northern Knights leg spinner Ish Sodhi is one for the future.
The 20-year-old was one of the top bowlers at last year's
under-19 World Cup and he has been in great form during this
season's Plunket Shield four-day competition.
"This game will give Ish an opportunity to gain some valuable
experience and see what's needed for his game to go to the
next level," said Littlejohn.
Littlejohn said many among the group had been in fine form in
the domestic competition, in particular Carl Cachopa for the
Central Stags. The South African-born batsman has been
averaging in the 50s in Plunket Shield matches this season.
The four-day warm-up match starts on Wednesday, February 27
at the Queenstown Events Centre.
One more player may be added to the team closer to the match.
New Zealand XI squad:
Luke Ronchi (c) - Wellington Firebirds, Corey Anderson -
Northern Knights, Neil Broom - Otago Volts, Dean Brownlie -
Canterbury Wizards, Carl Cachopa - Central Stags, Mark
Gillespie - Wellington Firebirds, Tom Latham - Canterbury
Wizards, James Neesham - Otago Volts, Hamish Rutherford -
Otago Volts, Ish Sodhi - Northern Knights, Neil Wagner -