ICL: Indian Cricket League


McCullum to hand over the gloves

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Gareth Hopkins will take over the wicketkeeping duties so Brendon McCullum can concentrate entirely on opening the batting when the ICC World Twenty20 starts next week. John Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, has predicted a shake-up of the New Zealand order which will feature Jacob Oram’s power-hitting at No. 3.

The omission of Stephen Fleming from the 15-man squad meant New Zealand had to find a new partner for Lou Vincent at the top of the order. Bracewell said McCullum would open and act as a regular fieldsman, while Hopkins’ ability as a “death hitting” specialist would make him useful down the list.

Oram will be promoted to No. 3 to add variety and strength to a line-up that is otherwise dominated by right-handers. “We want to use a left-hander in the top order and that’s going to be Jacob Oram,” Bracewell told NZPA.

“The angles a left-hander gives you in Twenty20, in my observations, can be useful in terms of hitting through the field rather than concentrating only on hitting over it. If he gets in, we know the power he can hit with, as sides go into the death quarter early in the matches.”

New Zealand have two warm-up games against Australia and West Indies and Bracewell said the matches would be useful after a cold winter at home. “It is handy to have the quality of the Australians to test where we are at with their practice regimes and routines,” he said.

“What we are trying to achieve is just get out on grass, hit out and try and simulate closely the format we will play in the matches.” New Zealand’s first game of the tournament is against Kenya on Wednesday.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 9th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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