Older, wiser Milne returns

Fast bowler named for the tour of India

CRICKET - GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 08:04 16/08/2012
Adam Milne
FAIRFAX NZ
BAD BLOW: Adam Milne has been ruled out of the South Africa tour with an Achilles tendon injury.

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Adam Milne's Black Caps career is back on track after two years out of the side, with the fast bowler named for the tour of India and Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Milne debuted for New Zealand against Pakistan in 2010, but hasn't been selected again and has been hampered by an ankle injury but is now part of the 15-man squad heading to the subcontinent.

Milne played only two Twenty20 international matches, taking one wicket to average 94, but felt he would be better this time around.

"I was 18 going into those games," he said. "A bit of a novice in terms of Twenty20 cricket. I'd only played five or six games before that."

Now he was more mature and injury-free, he should perform better if he gets to pull on the black shirt.

"Even from those two games I played, getting hit around, you learn a lot from those; every international game I'd say. I've come through two Twenty20 campaigns with the Stags. I'm still developing skills and I'm only 20 years old."

Able to bowl more than 145kmh, the New Zealand selectors picked Milne because they thought his extra pace offered something different and were confident he would have an impact in international cricket.

Since he got over his ankle problem, Milne has been working on increasing his bowling workload and getting his intensity close to 100 per cent before he goes away with the Black Caps.

"I'm not bowling as quick at the moment. I'm still building up the amount of overs I'm bowling, getting towards that top 10 kilometres."

Milne has just finished one of the New Zealand Cricket winter development camps and was hoping to head to India soon so he could get used to the conditions and learn how to bowl over there.

"Conditions are pretty tough. It's quite hot over there too and the pitches are not as quick and bouncy as here and Australia. If you want to play good internationally, you have to learn to play at that level."

Originally named in the 30-man preliminary squad, Milne did not expect to make the final cut and was excited once he got the call.

"It's pretty surreal to be able to get to a World Cup with the national side. It's still sinking in. Awesome to go to India as well and come up against some world-class cricketers."

Manawatu all-rounder Jacob Oram was also named in the team and is in good form with the ball in the Sri Lanka Premier League.

In his opening game with his Uva Next team, he picked up three for 16 from his four overs to beat Basnahira Cricket Dundee earlier this week.

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Doug Bracewell and Captain Ross Taylor are the other Central Districts players in the national squad.

New Zealand have a two-test series against India next week, which the Twenty20 players are not part of, before two Twenty20s next month. The team then moves to Sri Lanka for the World Cup where the Black Caps have Pakistan and Bangladesh in pool play.

THE SQUAD

Black Caps: Ross Taylor (Central Districts) captain, Doug Bracewell (Central Districts), James Franklin (Wellington), Martin Guptill (Auckland), Roneel Hira (Canterbury), Rob Nicol (Canterbury), Brendon McCullum (Otago), Nathan McCullum (Otago), Kyle Mills (Auckland), Adam Milne (Central Districts), Jacob Oram (Central Districts), Tim Southee (Northern Districts), Daniel Vettori (Northern Districts), B J Watling (Northern Districts), Kane Williamson (Northern Districts).

- Manawatu Standard

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