Cricket

Milne wins battle for CWC spot

2015-01-08 07:22
Adam Milne (AFP)

Wellington - Fast bowler Adam Milne won the battle for the final pace bowling spot in New Zealand's cricket World Cup squad named on Thursday.

Milne's selection in the final 15-man squad had been signalled during New Zealand's second test against Sri Lanka in Wellington when he joined the team for sessions with bowling coach Shane Bond.

With head coach Mike Hesson already determining the squad would need five pace bowlers, the 22-year-old Milne pipped Canterbury's Matt Henry for what many considered the final decision in the squad's composition.

Both bowlers were impressive during New Zealand's series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last month but Milne's ability to deliver at more than 150 kph probably swung the decision in his favour.

Selectors sprung something of a surprise, however, by picking 35-year-old all-rounder Grant Elliott, who has not played for the one-day side for over a year, at the expense of Jimmy Neesham.

"Our batting unit has good depth and Grant's inclusion assures us strong cover in the middle order," Hesson said in a statement. "He brings a lot of experience and his record in New Zealand and Australia conditions is excellent."

Veteran Kyle Mills also made the cut after recovering sufficiently from a groin strain he sustained during the Pakistan series.

Test opener Tom Latham was also included in the squad, though he is expected to be used mostly in the middle order with captain Brendon McCullum already confirming he would open the batting during the February 14-March 29 tournament.

Latham will also be the backup wicketkeeper behind Luke Ronchi.

Former captain Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum will be the front line spinners, with top-order batsman Kane Williamson to provide a part-time option.

With Corey Anderson another recognised all-rounder in the squad, the team has impressive depth in their batting lineup with players like Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee and Mills all capable of scoring quick runs at the bottom of the order.

New Zealand open the tournament against Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Feb. 14.

Squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.

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