Returning Daniel Vettori could give New Zealand much-needed boost
Daniel Vettori has been handed a return to Test cricket after a ten month absence after fellow left-arm spinner Bruce Martin was ruled out of the second and final match of the series at Headingley.
The former New Zealand skipper has not played a first class match since July of last year after suffering a crippling Achilles injury that meant he played no part in the IPL, despite travelling to India to be part of a Bangalore side.
The return of the 34-year-old may well worry England, as when in full flow the spinner is undoubtedly one of the finest purveyors of his art in the world.
Vettori’s last visit to these shores as part of a Black Caps side saw him claim two five-wicket hauls, with one coming at Lord’s and one at Old Trafford, and he looks a generous price at 5/6 to take over 1.5 wickets in the first innings in Leeds.
The man they call Harry Potter has also produced some magic with the bat in hand, registering scores of 88, 50 not out, 48 and 43 in his previous six Test outings against the English, an impressive record for a player known predominantly for his exploits with the ball.
In his last appearance on Yorkshire’s home patch for his country he hit 38 in the first innings and caused problems for the hosts’ top order, claiming two of the top three batsmen as victims.
He then became an absentee due to injury as the tourists slipped to a nine-wicket defeat.
The left-armer has always been a key man for his country and if he can reproduce his aforementioned form and steady the unsettled New Zealand ship, the price of 25/1 on him receiving the man of the match award will look particularly generous.
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