New Zealand have given a surprise recall to veteran spinner Daniel Vettori ahead of the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah.
The 35-year-old has played 112 Tests and is his country’s second highest wicket-taker of all-time – behind Sir Richard Hadlee – with 360 scalps, but his last appearance in the longest format came in July 2012.
A succession of injuries have kept him out of the side while he has been most recently focusing on the limited-overs formats as he attempts to win a place in the Black Caps’ squad for next year’s World Cup in his homeland and Australia.
Yet, with spin expected to play a big part in Sharjah, slow left-armer Vettori, who was already in United Arab Emirates with New Zealand A, has been added to the senior squad and is in line to make a shock return.
Coach Mike Hesson said: “From the first two Tests it’s been pretty clear how important spin is in these conditions and we expect the pitch in Sharjah to be the slowest of all three wickets.
“Dan obviously has an incredible amount of experience and has shown how effective he can be in these sorts of conditions.
“It doesn’t mean that Dan will play in Tests for us in the future, but it’s a great opportunity to use him in this one-off unique situation.”
New Zealand trail 1-0 in the rubber, losing the first encounter by 248 runs in Abu Dhabi before drawing in Dubai.
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