Christchurch:Two days before New Zealand take on India in the opening Twenty20 clash, the country's convener of the national selection panel, Glenn Turner, has been forced to defend the decision to drop James Franklin and Scott Styris from the squad.
Former batsman Turner along with fellow selectors John Wright and Dion Nash omitted Franklin and Styris in favour of journeyman Ewen Thompson in the two Twenty20 matches that mark the start of India's series.
Turner said they chose to reward performers in the domestic circuit rather than go for name.
"It is too easy to say that when a player does well at provincial level, it doesn't count - we think that it does," Turner was quoted as saying by the 'Dominion Post'.
He said the selectors wanted to try out new players before the Twenty20 World Cup.
"Also we are having quite a few injuries and we have the Twenty20 World Cup coming up in June and we only have these two matches.
"It is not a rotation policy, it is more about taking advantage of an injury situation to give someone else an opportunity. Quite often those last two positions you chose could go any number of ways," said the former New Zealand batsman.
"The argument is your core players win you games and those two final selections you make are less likely to.
Therefore, by swapping them around a bit you learn more about different individuals," said Turner.
Regarding fast bowler Franklin's omission, Turner said he was not considered for the Twenty20 series against India because "over a period of time he has proved a bit sporting".
He said Thompson had been recalled since a reliable new-ball bowler was needed to fill the gap left by Kyle Mills' unavailability.
"ET had one go and made a bit of a go of it," Turner said, referring to his dismissal of West Indies skipper Chris Gayle.
"Their (India's) openers like the ball coming on. We left him out previously because he lost form but he's been bowling better recently and he can also bat a bit towards the end."
On Styris issue, Turner felt for the moment the batsman did not warrant selection for the opening match on Wednesday.
"He starts off slowly and is committed to getting in and scoring big, but he hasn't really yet shown out. We are talking about Twenty20. He has a better show for the 50-over stuff," said Turner.