New Zealand name uncapped pair for T20 series


Tom Bruce and Ben Wheeler are in line to make their Twenty20 international debuts after being selected in New Zealand's squad for the upcoming series against Bangladesh.

Uncapped pair Bruce and Wheeler were named Monday in the 14-man squad for the three-match series.

Trent Boult will miss the first match in Napier on January 3, while Tim Southee has been rested ahead of the Test series, with all eyes on Bruce and Wheeler.

Big-hitting batsman Bruce, 25, will provide plenty of power to the team should he be given the nod in the XI, having averaged 45.20 in 15 T20 matches at domestic level.

"Tom has been one of the leading players in the Super Smash the past two years and is one of the cleanest strikers of a cricket ball in the country," said Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen, as the hosts also look ahead to T20 matches in Mount Maunganui on January 6 and 8.

"He's averaged 76 at a strike-rate of 174 this season, so Tom's proven himself to be a very dangerous player. Power is a critical element to Twenty20 cricket, so to have him alongside the likes of Martin, Corey and the two Colins is an exciting prospect."

Wheeler is no stranger to the New Zealand set-up, having played in six one-day internationals, with his last appearance coming in August last year.

"It's been great to see Ben back playing cricket and getting near his best. He's put in a lot of hard work to get to this point again, so we're looking forward to having him back in the mix," Larsen added.

"Ben's ability to swing the ball at a decent clip can trouble any batsmen, as he's shown in domestic cricket this season."

Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne and Doug Bracewell were not considered for selection due to injury, while Ross Taylor also missed out as he returns to full fitness.


New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler.