Cricket: Reeve hint on Caddick Test place

Somerset v New Zealand
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The Independent Online
THE HINT that Andy Caddick could replace the injured Darren Gough in the England attack against New Zealand at Edgbaston next Thursday came from Caddick's county coach, Dermot Reeve.

Explaining why Somerset were short of seven first-choice players against the tourists, Reeve said: "David Graveney agreed that Andy could do with a break and that he was in the frame for selection."

Caddick has bowled long and successfully this summer and currently has 42 wickets at an average of 23. His recall would represent a drastic change of mind by the selectors, possibly connected with the fact that Mike Atherton is no longer one of them.

Somerset had announced, straight-faced, that sponsors Vodafone were offering pounds 11,000 for a win against the tourists "to ensure a high standard of cricket and encourage the counties to field strong teams".

Of the missing men, Reeve explained: "Jamie Cox has a cracked finger and Peter Bowler's back has not been 100 per cent for a while." We knew that Graham Rose and Mark Lathwell were long-term casualties, but Reeve made no mention of Paul Jarvis and Matt Bulbeck.

Not that it really mattered, for Somerset had first use of a pitch of utter docility on which Gregor Kennis, ex-Surrey and released by Somerset until recalled after Lathwell's injury for this summer, piled up a patient, chanceless score.

The Yokohama-born Kennis might have been the original Japanese Sandman for the soporific effect he had on the New Zealand bowlers who concluded after the first few overs that this was a day for simply loosening the muscles.

The England and Wales Cricket Board were filming this match for the edification of Nasser Hussain and the England selectors, but they are unlikely to learn much. Anything that was pitched short lifted gently and invitingly for the pull and hook. The slips were soon pared, but not until late afternoon was a guard placed at third man, by which time Kennis and others had mined a rich seam there.

Marcus Trescothick, the acting captain, played some brisk cover drives and Rob Turner's glut continues; he now averages a healthy 65.