Cricket: De Boorder, Neesham named in T20 squad

Derek de Boorder. Photo by Linda Robertson
Derek de Boorder. Photo by Linda Robertson
Otago wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder is unsure what his role will be if he is to make his international debut in South Africa

De Boorder and Otago team-mate Jimmy Neesham were yesterday among five new caps named in the twenty/20 squad for the Black Caps' tour.

They are joined by two Auckland players, fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan and big-hitting Colin Munro, and Northern Districts batsman Corey Anderson.

De Boorder (27) has a modest twenty/20 record - 176 runs in 40 games, at an average of 13.53 - but he has developed his ability to score quickly and rotate the strike, and his glovework is sound.

Still, he is not the sort of swashbuckling six-hitter who normally attracts the headlines in twenty/20.''

I suppose there's been a bit of talk in the past that I might have been a contender for the test keeping spot,'' de Boorder told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.''

I've worked hard on the short format of the game, and I had a reasonably successful New Zealand A tour.''

I've made changes and the hard work has paid off, which is nice.''

De Boorder said it was a pleasant surprise to get the good news from selection manager Kim Littlejohn.

He has not had a chance to speak with Black Caps coach Mike Hesson, his former coach with Otago.

Volts team-mate Brendon McCullum, elevated to the captaincy, is the incumbent T20 wicketkeeper, so there will be interest in whether de Boorder gets a chance behind the stumps.
''I haven't really had a chance to sit down and discuss the finer details of my role with Mike. I look forward to having a conversation with him over the next couple of days.

"My role for Otago has been to come in near the end, get bat on ball, and rotate the strike. I look forward to finding out what my role will be.''

Neesham (22) is perhaps, on the surface, the more understandable selection. He hits the ball as crisply as anyone in the country, does not muck around and is a useful bowling option.

In his fledgling twenty/20 career, he has an average of 24.85 and a strike rate of 159.63.

''It's been a bit of a whirlwind couple of days,'' Neesham said yesterday.

"It hasn't fully sunk in yet. I think I'm just enjoying these initial stages.''

Neesham follows in the footsteps of players like Craig Cumming, Aaron Redmond and Neil Broom, all of whom earned New Zealand selection after transferring to Otago.

He said it was hard to get noticed by important people if you were not playing consistently, and the move south from Auckland had been a big step for him.

His clean hitting is tailor-made for twenty/20 cricket but Neesham hopes he will not be pigeonholed as a limited-overs specialist.

"I want to play all forms of cricket. This is a big step, a foot in the door. The long-term goal is to be playing all three formats.''

Tim Southee and Jacob Oram were not considered for twenty/20 selection due to the pending births of their children, though Southee is in the test squad.

Canterbury's Peter Fulton has been recalled to both squads.

Test wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk's poor run of form with the bat has led to his dumping, and BJ Watling is set to wear the gloves in the tests.

Veteran spinner Bruce Martin comes into the team, at the expense of Todd Astle, while middle-order batsman Dean Brownlie has been recalled to the side and will challenge Fulton to assume Ross Taylor's spot in the batting order.

''We don't require a leg-spin option in South African conditions, so have left out Todd Astle, but he is very much part of our thinking for the future,'' coach Mike Hesson said.

Martin (32) will be making his international debut after a 13-year first-class career in which he has taken 297 wickets, while Dan Vettori continues his rehabilitation from injury and was unavailable for selection.

''Bruce Martin is a specialist spinner who can bowl a lot of overs and he deserves an opportunity after showing good recent form,'' Hesson said.


Black Caps squads for South Africa

Test: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Bruce Martin, Jeetan Patel, Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

T20: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Derek de Boorder, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Ronnie Hira, Nathan McCullum, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Rob Nicol.