New Zealand include Ewen Thompson in Twenty20 squad
Ewen Thompson, the Central Districts left-arm fast bowler, is the only new face in New Zealand's Twenty20 squad for the two internationals against West Indies. Jacob Oram, who missed the two Tests owing to a calf strain, has been included but he may play only as a batsman.
"Thompson makes the side on the strength of his outstanding Twenty20 statistics - 16 wickets at an average of 17 and an economy rate of 6.97," Glenn Turner, the chief selector, said. "He's also top of the MVP rankings in the State Championship right now."
"He swings it and he's one of those guys who doesn't 'arrive' so you can get through your shot," Turner told the New Zealand Herald. "He's always at you, he's hard to score from and he can give it a whack at the death."
The omissions from the Test squad include Jamie How, Tim McIntosh and Iain O'Brien. "This squad is about horses for courses," Turner said. "A Twenty20 side has a different look from a Test side - it's a different game and has different requirements.
"We haven't really played a lot of Twenty20 and we're still gaining experience. If we're going to pick up our game we need a good depth of players who can deliver in this arena."
Thompson, 29, has played 40 first-class games and 38 one-dayers for Central Districts since his debut in 1999-00. He has three first-class hundreds and five first-class fifties.
The Twenty20s will be played in Auckland and Hamilton on December 26 and 28.
New Zealand Daniel Vettori (capt), Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Mark Gillespie, Brendon McCullum (wk), Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Ewen Thompson.