Vettori handed Twenty20 captaincy
Daniel Vettori has got his wish of more responsibility after being named captain of the New Zealand squad for the Twenty20 World Championship. Vettori also wants the one-day job after Stephen Fleming stepped down following the World Cup, and the former leader was not included in the 15-man outfit for the tournament in South Africa in September.
John Bracewell, the coach, said Fleming had been omitted to allow Vettori the freedom to run the side. "This is the first opportunity for Daniel to captain the team abroad and we wanted to ensure that Daniel and the team were not looking to Stephen for leadership," he said. "We also thought it would be a good opportunity for Stephen to remain with Nottinghamshire to build towards the longer forms of the game."
The leadership switch was not the only change as the wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins, Nathan McCullum and Bradley Scott were included after strong tours of Australia with New Zealand A. "Gareth gets under the ball and hits it a long way," Bracewell said. "With their complementary skills, we are not going to lose anything if both Brendon McCullum and Gareth play in the same match."
Nathan McCullum is another aggressive lower-order batsman who performed well as a bowler on the A tour and Bracewell has been impressed with his all-round skills. Scott comes into the side instead of James Franklin, who the team management wants to focus on the one-day and Test scenes.
"Chris Martin has been included in the squad as our second strike bowler in support of Shane Bond," Bracewell said. "Batting at the end of the order, it is unlikely that his batting will be exposed in Twenty20 cricket." Scott Styris has been picked subject to fitness after having back, knee and calf problems during his off-season stint with Durham.
On left-arm seamer James Franklin's omission, Bracewell said that he needed to rectify his action, given his tendency to fall away to the leg side on his delivery stride.
"I think we've all noticed that there are things in Franky's action that are not right, so we have decided this is the time to do it," he told the Dominion Post. "It is tough on him because no one wants to miss out on cricket."
New Zealand squad Daniel Vettori (capt), Shane Bond, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Gareth Hopkins (wk), Chris Martin, Craig McMillan, Brendon McCullum (wk), Nathan McCullum, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Bradley Scott, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Lou Vincent.