Openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton have pulled out of the two-day practice game between New Zealand XI and the visiting Indians ahead of the two-match Test series next month.

The practice game will be played at Whangarei on February 2-3 before the Test series begins on February 6 in Auckland.

Fulton and Rutherford decided to pull out in favour of playing for their provinces in the Plunket Shield, New Zealand’s domestic first class championships, a media report said.

Canterbury’s George Worker has been called in as one replacement.

According to the Fairfax NZ News report, Edgar said Fulton and Rutherford must have felt that it would be better to play in their domestic first class championships as the two-day practice game against India would be just a one-innings affair and thus would lack intensity.

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