Speedster Milne needs ODIs to stake test claim

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2014
Adam Milne
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NEED FOR SPEED: Adam Milne was handed a New Zealand Cricket contract today and wants more game time for the Black Caps.

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OPINION: Central Districts speedster Adam Milne must play in all five one-day internationals (ODI) against India to try to push his test claims.

Milne is the most exciting thing to come along in New Zealand cricket since the emergence of Shane Bond over a decade ago.

The 21-year-old has raw pace, in excess of 153kmh already and he wants to go faster.

That sort of pace will naturally make any batsman jump in uncertainty and is something that cannot be coached.

He needs to play every match of the ODI series, which starts in Napier tomorrow, and even glimpses of promise should be enough to get him a test spot over Neil Wagner.

He won't be a world beater straight away and such expectations would be unrealistic but as he showed in the recent Twenty20 series against West Indies, he will hurry up batsmen and could generate enough pressure to prove valuable in bowling partnerships with his more senior quick bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

At 21, there is plenty of room for improvement and an increase in speed from Milne who has already stated he would like to get close to 160kmh.

His devastating talent may take a few years to realise but Australia has worked out with Mitchell Johnson, a quick bowler with confidence can be a match winner all on his own.

Milne is well worth the gamble and should probably replace veteran Kyle Mills in the starting XI tomorrow.

Hopefully Bond, who is New Zealand's bowling coach, can show him how to get the most from his bowling action while remaining healthy so cricket fans aren't left with the same unfinished feeling which marred the end of Bond's career.

Milne has the chance to be great and be a wonderful asset to the Black Caps in all forms of the game and would be an attraction for the 2015 World Cup on home soil.

Patience will be the key.

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- The Timaru Herald

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