Dropped New Zealand T20 duo should be back
The odd quiet clap will have rung out in offices and lounge rooms yesterday, when news came through that neither Kyle Mills nor Jacob Oram were included in New Zealand's Twenty20 team to tour South Africa.
For whatever reason, the two quick bowlers annoy many cricket fans, who've often held the pair up as exhibit A and B of what ails the Black Caps.
But before any of the anti Mills and Oram brigade get too excited, they should be aware that both men are likely to be back in black before long.
Mills didn't return calls yesterday, but New Zealand coach Mike Hesson confirmed the 33-year-old was in the selection mix for the three one-day internationals that follow the Twenty20 and test matches against South Africa.
"We'll pick the side on Boxing Day, but obviously Kyle's record has been very good," Hesson said.
Oram, meanwhile, made himself unavailable for personal reasons and told The Dominion Post he hopes to be selected again during the home summer against England.
His second child is due in January after his first was born a month premature.
That had been "quite traumatic" for both mother and child and Oram understandably wants to be by his wife's side during the latter stages of this pregnancy.
As for the captaincy sideshow that's played out this week, Oram said the emotions were still too raw for him to make a comment.
In their place, Hesson has gone for a group of unproven and injury-prone types.
Without Oram, and the injured Andrew Ellis, Hesson said he needed some big-hitting left-handers who could bowl a bit, hence the call-ups for James Neesham, Corey Anderson and Colin Munro.
Left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan gets Mills' spot. Brisk, without being genuinely quick, McClenaghan isn't a noted swinger of the ball.
BJ Watling has been left out, with Otago's Derek de Boorder in as the back-up wicketkeeper. Watling will stay behind to play Plunket Shield cricket, after replacing the dumped Kruger van Wyk as test keeper.
"Kruger, in terms of the volume of runs, probably hasn't been as productive as he would like," said Hesson.
Dean Brownlie has been recalled, along with Canterbury team-mate Peter Fulton, and the pair will vie for the batting spot made vacant by Ross Taylor's unavailability, Hesson said.
HOW THEY LINE UP
What: New Zealand squads for Twenty20 and test portions of tour to South Africa Twenty20 squad to meet South Africa at Durban and East London: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Derek de Boorder, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Nathan McCullum, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Rob Nicol Test squad to meet South Africa at Cape Town and Port Elizabeth: Brendon McCullum (c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Bruce Martin, Jeetan Patel, Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling Squad to meet South Africa in three one-day internationals to be named on Boxing Day
The Dominion Post