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Monday, January 24, 2011

How set to play in second Pakistan ODI

How set to play in second Pakistan ODI (Source: Photosport)
With the World Cup quickly approaching and preparation time at a premium, New Zealand have ditched the old adage of never changing a winning team ahead of the second one-day cricket international against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Just who drops out of the 11 that thrashed Pakistan by nine wickets in the first match at Wellington last Saturday remains to be seen but the first of the rotational changes will see Jamie How, the 12th man in game one, play here at the Queenstown Events Centre, notwithstanding the dominance of the first-up victory.
New Zealand coach John Wright today reiterated that the selectors wanted to see all 15 World Cup squad members get action in the six-match series, leaving them with a tricky balancing act between maintaining winning momentum and giving players gametime.
"We'll probably make a change, Jamie How might get an opportunity down here but we'll look at that tomorrow," Wright said today, confirming How, the backup wicketkeeper in the World Cup squad, would play as a batsman only and not be handed the wicketkeeping gloves.
"He'll probably start as a batsman. With Jamie's batting, we'd like to see him play very aggressively. He's a brilliant fielder and it will just be a matter of guys taking their opportunities."
It is unclear where How, a top order batsman, would fit into the lineup.
Wright said Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill, who put of 84 for the first wicket in 10 overs at Wellington, would be given another opportunity to grow their opening partnership, while Ross Taylor, the only other batsman to get time in the middle on Saturday, would also play.
"We'd just like to give him a run," Wright said of How.
"We'll have a look at how people are training and how the wicket looks tomorrow, but I know the selection panel are very keen for all 15 players to get some game time.
"Ryder and Guptill looked quite settled (opening), but I've always left the batting order up to the captain."
How joined the team here today after he suggested to management that he stay in the capital an extra day to play for Central Districts in their domestic one-day match against Wellington yesterday, but Wellington's foul weather put paid to any chance of time at the crease.
Wright also hinted at a possible change to the bowling lineup, with a new ball combination of Tim Southee and Hamish Bennett being mooted, though captain Daniel Vettori will have the final say.
Man-of-the-match Southee, who took five for 33, opened with swing bowler James Franklin in game one while Bennett, who took three for 26, following Southee as second change.
"There was the expectation there might be a bit of swing up in Wellington but it might be different here," Wright said.
"There's also the temptation for Bennett and Southee to take the new ball, they certainly bowled well last weekend so maybe they will be first up, but the skipper will make the decision on the morning."
New Zealand trained confidently today under cloudless skies and a beaming sun, though Wright was playing down the effect the win might have had on the team.
"That's too early to judge," he said when asked of confidence levels had been restored following the 11-match losing streak late last year.
"We got a first victory in a six-match series, so it's far too early to tell. We're training hard and you just hope that after four or five games we're making some progress."
Pakistan trained in Queensland this morning among the company of Melbourne-based Australia Football League (AFL) club St Kilda, who are in Queenstown for a pre-season camp.
Reports suggested some of the AFL players proved more than able net bowlers for the tourists
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