Hesson preparing for ‘tough’ selection discussion over openers, Neesham for Windies tour

Wellington, Feb 20: New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is reportedly preparing himself for some tough discussions with selectors over the opening pair and how to fit James Neesham into the playing XI for their next Test against the West Indies.

Some welcome and unwelcome selection headaches emerged from New Zealand’s memorable Test season at home; three wins, two draws and a brace of series victories over West Indies and India which moved them up to seventh on the rankings.

According to Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand will be next playing in a three-Test series in the spin-friendly Caribbean, starting in late May, where there should be at least one new opener as senior player Peter Fulton has reaped only 62 runs and a highest score of 13 from his eight subsequent Test innings since December.

The other opener Hamish Rutherford is making starts despite failing to pass 50 in his past eight innings, and Hesson and general manager national selection Bruce Edgar are loyal to his cause and seem unlikely to make a double change at the top.

Hesson said that they would not be rushing to any decisions as it is a tough job and there is still plenty of domestic cricket to be played, and the report mentioned that of the contenders, Tom Latham looks almost certain to come in for Fulton as he is rated highly and has a solid defence and temperament to kick on.

Although Neesham seized his chance in the absence of legspinner Ish Sodhi with a debut century, it is still unclear as to who among Neesham and Corey Anderson misses out when Sodhi returns in the West Indies where pitches are expected to turn

However, Hesson raised the prospect of playing two spinners in the Caribbean, which probably depends on whether Daniel Vettori can prove his fitness, and he is impressed by the way Neesham performed against India. (ANI)