Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has admitted that he may have already played in his final ever Test match, but remains focused on representing his county on home soil at next year’s World Cup.
The spinner holds the record for most Test appearances for the Kiwis, but he has been limited to playing in T20 and 50-over cricket over the past 12 months.
Vettori’s last Test match was against the West Indies more than two years ago, and he hasn’t played any international cricket this year. Nevertheless, he is keen to play for New Zealand once again when they co-host next year’s cricket World Cup with Australia.
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The 35-year-old holds the record for most New Zealand Test caps with 112 and his 360 wickets in the longest format of the game are only bettered by compatriot Richard Hadlee.
He is one of only eight cricketers to have taken more than 300 Test wickets and scored 3000 runs in the same format, which is testament to his batting ability at number eight.
However, in recent years, the spinner has fallen out of favour and struggled to work his way into the team. Injury and fitness worries haven’t helped the bespectacled all-rounder either.
But - after such a decorated career - Vettori remains realistic regarding his future opportunities on the international stage.
In an interview with the Herald on Sunday the left arm spinner revealed: "[Test cricket's] not at the forefront of my mind. I can't guarantee the amount of overs [required] to play a Test match and don't want to get in way of Ish [Sodhi] and Mark [Craig] in their development. It's definitely on the back burner."
While he may not get the chance to mount another assault on Hadlee’s longstanding record of 431 New Zealand Test wickets, Vettori can still bring a lot to the Kiwis’ World Cup campaign with his experience.
The veteran of 275 One Day Internationals has 284 dismissals in that format and his know-how as a former national team leader could be an invaluable aid to current captain Brendon McCullum.
While he has been enjoying his time playing in various T20 franchises around the world, next spring’s tournament could be his fond farewell to the game.
Earlier this year, Vettori coached Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, possibly implying where his future lies.
With Test cricket out of his mind, the spinner is keeping his focus on limited-overs formats, which he feels he can better cope with.
Vettori added: "The World Cup's the goal. Tests would put too much of a strain on the body at this stage of my career."
New Zealand commence their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in Christchurch on February 14th next year.
An ODI series against South Africa in October signals the start of preparation for the tournament, and Vettori will be hoping he is selected to keep his aspirations of playing in one last World Cup alive.
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