Un­capped Bruce named in New Zealand T20 squad

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Un­capped bats­man Tom Bruce has been called into New Zealand’s Twenty20 squad for their three-match se­ries against Bangladesh next month, while left arm pace bowler Ben Wheeler has been re­called to the na­tional side.

The right-handed Bruce would pro­vide a pow­er­ful hit­ting lineup for New Zealand with the ag­gres­sive Martin Gup­till, Colin Munro and Colin de Grand­homme and Corey Anderson, who has been se­lected solely as a bats­man. “Tom is one of the clean­est strik­ers of the cricket ball in the coun­try,” se­lec­tor Gavin Larsen said in a state­ment yes­ter­day. “He has av­er­aged 76 at a strike-rate of 174 this sea­son, so has proven him­self to be a very dan­ger­ous player. “Power is a crit­i­cal el­e­ment to Twenty20 cricket, so to have him along­side the likes of Martin, Corey and the two Colins is an ex­cit­ing prospect.” Wheeler played six one day in­ter­na­tion­als last year but not been picked for New Zealand since. He has been brought into the side with Tim Southee be­ing rested for the en­tire se­ries, while Trent Boult will miss the first game in Napier on Jan. 3.

“Its been great to see Ben back play­ing cricket and get­ting near his best,” Larsen added. “He has put in a lot of hard work to get to this point again, so were look­ing for­ward to hav­ing him back in the mix.

“Ben’s abil­ity to swing the ball at a de­cent clip can trou­ble any bats­men, as he has shown in do­mes­tic cricket this sea­son.” Top-or­der bats­man Ross Tay­lor was not in­cluded as he con­tin­ues to recover from eye surgery last month. Larsen said he was ex­pected to be back for the test se­ries that be­gins on Jan. 12 in Welling­ton. New Zealand Twenty20 squad: Kane Wil­liamson (cap­tain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grand­homme, Martin Gup­till, Lockie Fer­gu­son, Matt Henry, Colin Munro, Jimmy Nee­sham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Sant­ner, Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler. — Reuters

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