Michael Neser.
Bulls fast bowler Michael Neser has been recalled for Australia's two-Test series in New Zealand. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS
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Seamer Neser recalled for Australia’s Test tour of NZ

Oliver Caffrey February 9, 2024

Bowling allrounder Michael Neser has been recalled to Australia’s Test squad as Pat Cummins’ team embarks on a red-ball tour of New Zealand for the first time in eight years.

Neser is the only inclusion after Australia’s Test series against Pakistan and West Indies this summer.

Western Australian quick Lance Morris suffered a side strain injury in Australia’s thumping ODI win in Canberra on Tuesday and was not considered.

Neser played the last of his two Tests in December 2022 but the Queensland seamer has been a regular around the red-ball set-up for the last five years.

“It’s great to see Michael Neser get another opportunity in the squad following his ever-consistent performances over a long period of time and the conditions we expect,” Australia’s chairman of selectors George Bailey said.

“As we know every Test match provides vital opportunities to obtain valuable WTC (World Test Championship) points and we expect this tour will be a tough challenge against a very strong side who have been so consistent at home for a long period of time.”

Victoria quick Scott Boland will also fly across the Tasman despite suffering an injury scare during a Sheffield Shield match this week.

Scott Boland.
 Scott Boland watches Victoria’s domestic one-day cup win over South Australia in Melbourne. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

Boland had scans on his knee but was able to bowl in the second innings and will continue to be managed.

But Neser and Boland are unlikely to feature against the Black Caps unless there are injuries to Australia’s star pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

The three played in all five of Australia’s Tests this summer but were rested during the recent ODI series against West Indies.

Hazlewood did make a cameo in Australia’s second ODI against the West Indies and is in the T20 squad to face the same opposition, with the first of three matches starting in Hobart on Friday night.

Australia will be desperate to bounce back in New Zealand after their shock loss to the Windies in the second Test at the Gabba last month.

They last played the Kiwis in a Test series in 2019-20, completing a 3-0 series whitewash at home.

During Australia’s last Test tour of New Zealand in 2016, a Steve Smith-captained team saluted 2-0.

The first of Australia’s two Tests in New Zealand gets underway in Wellington on February 29.

AUSTRALIA: Pat Cummins (capt), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw,  Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.