Ewen Thompson, New Zealand's new left-arm seamer, believes he's fit and ready to make a mark in international cricket despite getting a late call-up, at the age of 29. Thompson, who was included in the squad for the two Twenty20 internationals against West Indies starting on Friday, is known in domestic circles for his commitment to fitness.

"At 29 you're starting to mature as a cricketer," Thompson told NZPA. "If you look at other sports, like athletics, you don't see many 22-23-year-olds winning that. You certainly respect your body a little bit more as you age.

"I do things a lot better than I did as a youngster and I find I get through the seasons a lot easier now."

Thompson is currently the leading wicket-taker in the State Championship with 17 wickets from four games. He said he was confident of carrying on his good form to the international scene and his skills as an allrounder will be put to test in cricket's shortest format. The selection chief, Glenn Turner, praised Thompson for his lower-order hitting.

"I think you just got to be aggressive with the ball, vary [your deliveries] as much as you can and enjoy the occasion," Thompson said. "You just stick to what you know, and stick to your disciplines.

"It will be nice to walk out of the sheds and get the first ball under my belt and then start trying to compete."

The Twenty20s will be played in Auckland and Hamilton on December 26 and 28 respectively.