Batting boosted but bowling blemished

The return of Neil Broom, seen here in action against the Central Stags at University Oval last...
The return of Neil Broom, seen here in action against the Central Stags at University Oval last season, is set to bolster the Volts’ batting as they begin their one-day season in New Plymouth on Sunday. PHOTO: ODT ARCHIVES
Two steps forward — two back.

Otago has named its side for its opening one-day match against Central Districts at Pukekura Park, in New Plymouth, on Sunday.

White ball specialists Neil Broom and Josh Finnie will bolster the side.

Broom brings oodles of experience, and his presence in the top order will bring some assurance.

The 37-year-old right-hander has played 173 list A games and has not lost any of his touch.

He scored 471 runs at an average of 47.10 in the campaign last season and was instrumental in helping the side reach the final. He added a couple of centuries to his career haul of 10 list A hundreds.

Finnie played several key knocks as well and his ability to close an innings means he always looms as a threat in the batting line-up.

However, Otago will be missing all-rounder Nathan Smith and paceman Michael Rae, who are on New Zealand A duty and will miss the game.

Smith’s variations at the bowling crease will be sorely missed. He has developed into a good death bowler, and in his absence the captain Jacob Duffy will carry a heavy load.

He will spearhead a seam attack which does not boast a lot of experience outside Duffy.

Travis Muller has played 11 list A games, while Angus McKenzie has notched just two games and Jarrod McKay has one first-class game under his belt. He will be making his debut for Otago if he makes the playing XI.

Matt Bacon has played 21 list A games but has so far been cast in the role of back-up.

There are plenty of slow bowling options. Left arm wrist spinner Michael Rippon took 16 wickets in the tournament last season and will be aided by left-armer Anaru Kitchen, while Finnie and Nick Kelly may see some action if the conditions suit.

Hamish Rutherford will return to the top of the order where he will be partnered by wicketkeeper-batsman Mitchell Renwick.

Renwick was out of form during the Plunket Shield but got the nod ahead of first choice gloveman Max Chu, largely because he is the incumbent opener and did a decent job last summer.

There was no room for form batsman Llew Johnson. He scored a double hundred in club cricket and a century and a 90-odd for Otago A recently.

Otago will play Central Districts again on Tuesday but will be without Duffy, who will be on New Zealand A duty.

Otago v Central Districts

Pukekura Park, tomorrow
Otago: Hamish Rutherford, Mitchell Renwick, Neil Broom, Nick Kelly, Josh Finnie, Anaru Kitchen, Michael Rippon, Travis Muller, Angus McKenzie, Jacob Duffy, Jarrod McKay, Dale Phillips, Matt Bacon.

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