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December 28, 2008
Batsman Neil Broom is the only new face in the 13-man New Zealand side to take on West Indies in the first two ODIs of the five-match series. Broom, 25, will be replacing Scott Styris, who broke a thumb in the first Twenty20 against the West Indies on Boxing Day.
Broom, a right-hander who plays for Otago in the domestic competitions, has scored 1150 runs in 43 domestic one-day matches at 34.84.
Head of the selection panel, Glenn Turner, said Broom had shown his potential as an international batsman this year. "Neil performed well with the bat in Australia and India with the Emerging Players and New Zealand A sides," Turner said. "He's also been scoring a lot of runs in the State Championship this summer."
"He's shown that he's a good, clean striker of the ball and that's what we were looking for, particularly in that six or seven slot," Turner said. "You've got to have the flexibility in limited-overs cricket where the middle order, in particular, can be moved around according to the situation, and that gives us options."
The squad contains two more changes from the Twenty20 side with Grant Elliott and Jamie How recalled to the team, as James Franklin and Ewen Thompson miss out.
While How played in the two-Test series against West Indies and was part of the squad in their last ODI series, a 2-1 win away to Bangladesh, Grant Elliot has been an on-and-off feature in the side. Dropped for the Tests at home against West Indies, his last one-dayer was against Scotland in July in Aberdeen.
However, Elliott's recall to the national side comes after solid performances for Wellington in domestic cricket, including a 3 for 32 in the State Shield one-day competition, and scores of 63 and 78 in his two latest four-day outings in the State Championship.
"Grant gives us options with both bat and ball," Turner said. "He can come in down the order and push the ball around - and also offers a good bowling option with his medium-paced swing."
A notable absentee from the list was medium-pacer Iain O'Brien, who impressed during the recent two-Test series against West Indies. Turner said he needed to prove himself in domestic one-day matches. "He's never been regarded as a one-day player and the way that he used to bowl, he was considered to be a bit loose for one-dayers," Turner said. "But the reality is now we have to relook at him because he has obviously improved himself considerably.
"He may well be a serious consideration for ODIs in the future but he needs to play some cricket for Wellington in the shield. He has to show he's able to apply the improvement he's shown at Test level in the one-dayers."
The first ODI is in Queenstown on Wednesday, and the second will be played in Christchurch on January 3. Broom said he was a "wee bit nervous". "I've sort of been dreaming about this day for the last couple of years and to be named is awesome," he told the Otago Daily Times. ''But I'm playing for Otago again [on Monday], so I'll get a bit more batting in then, and I'm looking forward to Queenstown."
New Zealand ODI squad: Daniel Vettori (capt), Neil Broom, Grant Elliott, Daniel Flynn, Mark Gillespie, Jamie How, Brendon McCullum (wk), Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
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