Corey breaks through to Black Caps

Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012
Corey Anderson
Fairfax NZ
MORE ALLROUNDER THAN ROUND: Corey Anderson is trimmer, healthier and looking forward to a long Black Caps career. After making his first-class debut six years ago, he is finally fulfilling his international potential.

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Corey Anderson lost 20 kilograms and found himself in the Black Caps.

The former teen prodigy was yesterday named in the New Zealand Twenty20 squad for the tour of South Africa, finally gaining the international recognition many expected to come rapidly after making his debut as a 16-year-old.

The former Canterbury and NZ under-19 star moved to join Northern Districts before the start of the 2011/12 season, and his dedication to a physical programme has seen him flourish lately.

"It's an opportunity that he's really deserved because of the work that he's put in and the commitment he's made since coming up from Canterbury," Knights coach Grant Bradburn said.

"It's a tribute to the changes he's made.

"The most obvious one is physical, having lost 20kgs since he came here.

"He's relished the opportunity to earn the right to play in our side."

When Anderson left Canterbury, his once seemingly meteoric career - hampered by shoulder and groin injuries and form slumps - looked to be on a permanent downward slide.

The Knights didn't offer him a domestic contract last season and while he forced his way into the playing XI and showed glimpses of his undoubted talent, he was still hamstrung by injuries.

This season, a fully-fit Anderson has impressed in the Twenty20 and Plunket Shield competitions with bat and ball.

The left-hander, who made his maiden first-class century last month and averages 50.42 in the shield, is a punishing batsman and a threateningly quick seam and swing bowler.

And with Anderson only turning 22 next Thursday, his domestic coach believes the sky is now the limit.

Bradburn said Anderson has now "turned his incredible gifts as a player and immense natural ability" into consistent performances.

"Now that he is batting and bowling - as well as being a wonderful fielder - he becomes a really attractive international prospect as an allrounder."

Anderson's domestic Twenty20 career records aren't flattering, averaging 16.60 with the bat, but he's again shown this season for the Knights in that format that when fully fit he can be a devastating presence.

He plundered 35 from just 15 balls against his former team-mates last Friday in Hamilton while he's also taken two wickets at 14.50.

At the other end of the spectrum, former ND left-arm spinner Bruce Martin will again get a chance to make his test debut.

It comes more than 12 years after he almost represented the Black Caps.

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The 32-year-old, who has played for Auckland since the start of the 2010/11 season, looked certain to make the New Zealand side to play Australia on what was then his home ground at Hamilton's Seddon Park for the third test of their series in March 2000.

Instead, the selectors went with then ND team-mate Daryl Tuffey, Martin was made 12th man and hadn't been wanted since then until his latest call-up, with Daniel Vettori ruled out through injury and rookie legspinner Todd Astle not wanted after making his debut in Sri Lanka.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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