Jan 23 2009

Young blood

The squad to play Australia in the Chappell–Hadlee is as follows:

Daniel Vettori (Captain)
Trent Boult
Neil Broom
Brendon Diamanti
Grant Elliott
Peter Fulton
Martin Guptill
Brendon McCullum
Kyle Mills
Iain O’Brien
Jeetan Patel
Jesse Ryder
Tim Southee
Ross Taylor

You’ll see that Flynn has dropped out, as was looking necessary; Fulton back in along with Iain O’Brien who hasn’t played in ODIs since Napier last year before he found his mojo in tests, replacing Gillespie. Chris Martin misses out again, but he has been only intermittantly convincing in ODIs. The eye openers are the new inclusions of Trent Boult and Brendon Diamanti.

Boult is in the team because he has been picking up wickets in the State Shield at a strike rate of 32.69. Diamanti has a tidy limited overs record, with fair to middling averages with both bat and ball – he could probably replace Grant Elliot in the team and few would notice.

With 14 in the squad and – I would guess – O’Brien and Patel juggling 12th man duties, Boult and Diamanti may have to ride their chances of getting a run.

The last 12 months really has been a season for debuts. The teams is rebuilding of course, but throwing in yet another two new faces half way through the season, one of them a 19-year old, just feels like indecisiveness. Perhaps after finally hitting the jackpot with McIntosh and Guptill, the selectors want to take a few more gambles.

By my reckoning, these are the debutants since about this time last year, in any form:

Broom
Elliott
Flynn
Guptill
McIntosh
Redmond
Ryder
Southee
Thompson

Close to a whole new team, just short a keeper and a spinner.