5 Feb 2016

Nicholls in line for Test debut

3:21 pm on 5 February 2016

Canterbury batsman Henry Nicholls' memorable summer continues - he's been named in the New Zealand squad to take on Australia in the two-Test series this month in Wellington and Christchurch.

The left-hander only made his debut in the Christchurch one dayer against Sri Lanka on Boxing Day, and now the 24-year-old's a chance to debut in the white clothing in Wellington on 12 February.

Henry Nicholls batting in a four-day Plunket Shield match for Canterbury vs Central Districts at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora. 17 December 2015. Photo: Joseph Johnson / www.photosport.nz

Henry Nicholls batting in a four-day Plunket Shield match for Canterbury Photo: Photosport

That match should also see Brendon McCullum set a world record with a 100th consecutive Test appearance since debuting.

The second and final Test of the home summer begins on February 20 in Christchurch.

Ross Taylor has been ruled out of the first Test due to an injury to his left side and the veteran batsman will continue to be monitored ahead of the Christchurch match.

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling's back will also be monitored over the coming days, and he's been bracketed with Luke Ronchi.

Seam bowler Matt Henry also returns to the Test side.

Black Caps coach Mike Hesson.

Black Caps coach Mike Hesson. Photo: RNZ/Stephen Hewson

Coach Mike Hesson said Nicholls deserved his selection and that it was a squad picked with conditions in mind.

"Henry has been very impressive the way he's made the step up to international cricket and we're confident of the job he can do for us in the top order," said Hesson.

"We've gone for just the one spinner in Mitch and that's based around what we expect the pitches to play like at Hagley and the Basin.

"Tim (Southee)'s a leader within our group and our most experienced bowler, so we're excited to have him fit and a part of our pace bowling attack... "Matt (Henry) also comes back into the squad after some really strong performances throughout the summer and with Corey's return we now have a number of seam bowling options to consider."

Hesson said Australia were a very good Test side and they know it will take some exceptional cricket to have a chance of taking out the series.

"It doesn't get much bigger for all New Zealand fans than a Test Series against Australia," Hesson said.

New Zealand Test squad vs Australia:

Brendon McCullum (c)

Corey Anderson

Doug Bracewell

Trent Boult

Martin Guptill

Matt Henry

Tom Latham

Henry Nicholls

Mitchell Santner

Tim Southee

Neil Wagner

BJ Watling / Luke Ronchi (wk)

Kane Williamson