New boy poised to debut

New Otago recruit Jake Gibson is poised to make his debut for his adopted province.

Gibson has been named in the 13-strong squad for the Plunket Shield match against Wellington beginning at the Basin Reserve on Saturday.

Limited-overs specialist Josh Finnie has also been included in the squad as Covid-19 and concussion cover. Finnie last year said he was quitting first-class cricket to focus on limited-overs cricket but was happy to fill-in as batting cover for the game.

Gibson picked up a five-wicket bag during an intra-squad game, so he has earned his spot in the squad.

The 24-year-old transferred south from Northern Districts this season. He has played five list A games for the Knights and taken 12 wickets at an average of 14.83.

He picked up a five-wicket bag on debut which was against Auckland. Among his victims that day were Finn Allen, Sean Solia and Ben Horne.

Hamish Rutherford is captaining the Volts in all three formats this season and is likely to be joined at the top of the order by Mitchell Renwick.

Dale Phillips and Anaru Kitchen will fill out a middle order which will also include wrist-spinning all-rounder Michael Rippon.

Rippon nabbed 22 wickets and scored almost 500 runs in the Plunket Shield last season, so he shapes as a key figure in the side.

Another season like that and the former Dutch international could recognise his dream to play cricket for the Black Caps.

Max Chu has the gloves and Black Cap Jacob Duffy will team up with Michael Rae to lead the attack, while Travis Muller and Angus McKenzie will jostle for a starting spot alongside the pair.

Matthew Bacon and Jarrod McKay are the unlucky contracted bowlers to miss selection.

Bacon has had an injury niggle and his bowling loads are ‘‘a little bit light’’, coach Dion Ebrahim said.

‘‘Because of that his skill, control and execution is not at the level at this stage which would put him ahead of some of the other bowlers,’’ he said.

‘‘Jarrod is unfortunate to miss out. He has been excellent during our pre-season.’’


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