Blackcaps v Australia: Speedster Ben Sears locked into debut, as NZ consider bowling balance for must-win test

Blackcaps pace bowler Ben Sears will make his test debut against an unchanged Australia in the second and final match at Christchurch, as the home side look to square their two-match series.

Sears, 26, was drafted into the squad after a hamstring injury to rookie pacer Will O'Rourke, sustained in the 172-run thumping at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

Ben Sears in whiteball action for the Blackcaps.
Ben Sears in whiteball action for the Blackcaps. Photo credit: Photosport

He will join captain Tim Southee and Matt Henry in the pace attack at Hagley Oval from Friday, although Southee says no decision has been made on whether Scott Kuggeleijn will retain his spot or be replaced by spin-bowling allrounder Mitch Santner.

"It's just around that fourth seamer or spinner," he said. "Hopefully, we get it right this week."

New Zealand selectors were under fire at Wellington for not picking a spinner on a pitch where Australia's Nathan Lyon took 10 wickets.

Picked as the fourth seamer in his second test, Kuggeleijn was expensive for his two first-innings wickets and barely bowled in the second innings.

The selectors have also taken flack from former captain Ross Taylor for not considering veteran speedster Neil Wagner, who appeared to reluctantly retire from international cricket on the eve of the series.


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