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South African-born all-rounder Grant Elliott has won a surprise call-up to New Zealand's squad for next week's opening Test against England in Hamilton.

The 28-year-old, who was born in Johannesburg, has spent the last three years qualifying to play for New Zealand by featuring for Wellington and has been rewarded for his steady progress.

Already capped by New Zealand A, Elliott claimed two for 12 and scored a useful 28 in the current match for a Select XI against the tourists at the University Oval.

Both Jamie How, who is expected to partner Matthew Bell as an opener, and Ross Taylor also return to the squad after missing out in the recent series against Bangladesh.

Former captain Stephen Fleming has been pencilled in for the number three position but out-of-touch batsman Peter Fulton has been overlooked after suffering a recurrence of a right knee injury and will be re-assessed before New Zealand select their squad for the second Test in Wellington, starting on March 13.

Iain O'Brien has won the battle for the final seamer's spot with rival Mark Gillespie after claiming four for 34 in England's first innings during the current tour match.

Squad: Daniel Vettori (capt), Matthew Bell, Jamie How, Stephen Fleming, Ross Taylor, Mathew Sinclair, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum (wkt), Kyle Mills, Chris Martin, Grant Elliott, Iain O'Brien, Jeetan Patel.
 
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