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Sunday, 8 December, 2002, 04:25 GMT
NZ pair in line for debut
Jacob Oram
Oram looks set to make his Test debut
Central Districts pair Michael Mason and Jacob Oram are poised to make their Test debuts for New Zealand against India in Wellington on Thursday.

Uncapped fast bowler Mason impressed the selectors by taking the wickets of Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and skipper Sourav Ganguly in the opening day of the three-day tour match against India.

New Zealand's chairman of selectors Richard Hadlee said: "Mason is a bowler with good pace. He has been impressive in the current game, taking three for 46 in the first innings.

"He swings the ball away from the right-handed batsmen."

Cairns out injured

And all-rounder Oram, the Central Districts captain, is also in line for his Test debut after also being named in the squad.

He looks set to recover from a hamstring strain that caused him to pull out of the tour match.

Hadlee said the panel had taken a conservative approach to their selections.

He has been critical of the form shown by top players, blaming the month-long players' strike in October.

New Zealand are involved in their annual battle to find a fit bowling attack.

All-rounder Chris Cairns will undergo keyhole surgery on his right knee on Tuesday and is unavailable for both Tests.

Andre Adams, Ian Butler and Shayne O'Connor are all still recovering from injuries.

Mason, a farmer's son from Manawatu, has played 28 first-class matches for Central Districts since his debut in the 1997-98 season and has taken 88 wickets at an average of 25.61.

Also included in the squad is all-rounder Scott Styris, who made a century on his Test debut against West Indies in Grenada in June.


New Zealand squad: Stephen Fleming (Wellington, captain), Nathan Astle (Canterbury), Shane Bond (Canterbury), Robbie Hart (Northern Districts), Craig McMillan (Canterbury), Michael Mason (Central Districts), Jacob Oram (Central Districts), Mark Richardson (Auckland), Scott Styris (Northern Districts), Daryl Tuffey (Northern Districts), Daniel Vettori (Northern Districts), Lou Vincent (Auckland).

India play two Tests and seven ODIs in New Zealand

One-day series

Second Test

First Test

WHEN AND WHERE
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