Uncapped Bruce named in New Zealand T20 squad
WELLINGTON – 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 on Monday. “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. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty). -Reuters