Seam bowler decision looms for the Black Caps

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:01 28/12/2013
Adam Milne
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GENUINE PACE: Adam Milne is set for a Black Caps recall.

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The need for out-and-out pace could force young Central Districts seamer Adam Milne into the Black Caps bowling battery for their second one-dayer against the West Indies in Napier tomorrow, according to skipper Brendon McCullum.

Milne sat out New Zealand's two-wicket defeat in the series' opening one-dayer in Auckland on Thursday, but will come right into the selection mix following the Black Caps dependence on strike bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan and Kyle Mills at Eden Park.

McCullum admitted there were moments during the series opener that he thought about how valuable Milne could have been, if he was in the playing XI.

"That's something we've got to discuss," McCullum said.

"[I] thought about that when we were out there that if we had have had Milney with that little bit of extra pace ... and how hostile he can be too, then that may have played into our hands.

"But I guess you've got to try and balance it between that extra batter versus someone who can try and run through a team. It's something we've got to look at."

Milne has only taken one wicket in five one-day internationals, and struggled during the Black Caps three-match series against Sri Lanka in November.

However, the 21-year-old does possess a fear factor with the ball that all-rounders James Neesham and Corey Anderson do not - even though McCullum pleaded patience with the duo.

"I think both Neesham and Anderson have done a great job for us so far in their short time with us, and certainly have futures for us as well," he said.

"We've got to make sure we keep persevering with those sorts of guys, and we've got to keep making sure we get the right balance.

"But [in terms of bringing Milne into the starting XI], that's something we've got to entertain the thought of."

McClenaghan was the Black Caps star in the near-result in Auckland, taking 5 for 58 off his 9.3 overs, but was inconsistent, allowing six wides and a no-ball.

McCullum said that the Auckland seamer, who has already taken 40 wickets in 15 one-dayers, is given more breathing room in that respect due to the hostility he brings to the bowling crease.

"When he first came into the team, that was the message that was a very strong one delivered to him, and will remain a consistent one whilst I'm captain," he said.

"He is a point of difference for us that he is an aggressive bowler and there's plenty of guys in the country that can do a different role; but there's not too many that can do that hostile, aggressive role that he's doing for us.

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"He's taken a lot of wickets for us, and if we look at 5 for 58 - that's a hell of an effort, even though it was nine overs. He searched for wickets plenty of times for us, and in the nature of doing so, you're going to cough up the odd few runs as well."

- Fairfax Media

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