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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 March 2008, 17:00 GMT
Kiwis turn to all-rounder Elliott
Grant Elliott in action against England
Johannesburg-born Elliott moved to New Zealand five years ago
South African-born all-rounder Grant Elliott has been called into New Zealand's injury-hit squad for next week's first Test against England.

The uncapped Elliott, 28, is included in an expanded 13-man squad after Peter Fulton, Michael Mason and Jesse Ryder were ruled out with injuries.

Jamie How and Ross Taylor were both recalled to the squad as a reward for their impressive one-day displays.

The first of three Tests against England takes place in Hamilton.

Elliott only qualified for his adopted country in 2007 having moved from South Africa five years ago to play club cricket.

"As soon as I arrived in New Zealand and made it my home, I had aspirations of playing international cricket for New Zealand," he said.

"It's a really tough move to make, because you always grow up thinking you're going to be a Springbok or a Protea and then you make that change to another country.

"But when I played for New Zealand A (last winter), when I opened the bag and saw the silver fern that was a real indication that New Zealand's my home - and I'll give everything for New Zealand."

Eliott has been included on the strength of last year's domestic performances for the Wellington Firebirds, when he averaged 45 with the bat.

He gives us a few extra options because he brings some balance to the side

Selector Dion Nash on Elliott

He can also swing the ball effectively, as the tourists found out in their drawn three-day match against a Select XI when Elliott claimed two for 12 to help dismiss England for 131 on the first day.

"He's a guy who has been our thinking for a while," said selector Dion Nash. "He's a very consistent performer in first-class cricket.

"He gives us a few extra options because he brings some balance to the side."

Former Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming has been pencilled in to bat at number three in Hamilton.

But batsman Fulton has been overlooked after suffering a recurrence of a right knee injury and will be re-assessed before New Zealand select their squad for the second Test in Wellington starting on 13 March.

How, who has not played a Test since December 2006, impressed after scoring a century in the one-dayers and is likely to open the innings alongside Matthew Bell.

Taylor, who was overlooked for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, forced his way in after topping the batting averages in the limited-overs series.


New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (captain), Mathew Bell, Grant Elliott, Stephen Fleming, Jamie How, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Mathew Sinclair, Ross Taylor.



SEE ALSO
Tremlett out of New Zealand tour
29 Feb 08 |  England
England struggle in Test warm-up
28 Feb 08 |  England
England in New Zealand 2008
12 Feb 08 |  Cricket


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