A hard-hitting batsman and useful seamer, he seemed to have an international career with New Zealand ahead of him after a successful start to his first-class career and call-ups to the A team. His image as a bit of a wild-boy didn't help, but later in 2007 he told the selectors he wouldn't be available for the New Zealand A tour of Australia after signing as one of Ireland's overseas players. That relationship was brief, ending after three weeks when he failed to turn up for a match against Surrey. He finally got his wish of a national call-up in January 2008, when he was named in the ODI and Twenty20 squads to take on England and he quickly showed that he has the potential to be an explosive opening batsman - and he's a useful occasional medium-pacer as well. Ryder impressed with 196 runs at 49 in the five ODIs against England.
He had to wait till the tour of Bangladesh made his Test debut in the Chittagong Test. The selectors' faith was rewarded when he scored his maiden Test century - albeit in a losing cause - against India at Hamilton in March 2009, and followed up with an accomplished 201 in the second Test of the series at Napier.