New Zealand name rookie spinner Woodcock for World Cup squad

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WELLINGTON - New Zealand Wednesday named in-form left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock, who has never played in a One-day International, in its 15-man squad for the World Cup, which starts in India next month.

Woodcock, 28, made his international Twenty20 debut against Pakistan this month, taking 0-20 off four overs, but starred in the domestic one-day competition, scoring 50 off 49 balls and taking 3-31 for his provincial side Wellington against Northern Districts Sunday, followed by 4-40 against Canterbury Wednesday.

“Luke has worked hard for his chance after forging an impressive record with Wellington over a number of years,” chief selector Mark Greatbatch said.

“He has a good head on his shoulders and his selection provides the option of playing three spinners which could be useful on the subcontinent.”

Captain Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum are the other specialist spinners in a bowling attack boosted by the return of Jacob Oram and Hamish Bennett from injury.

Greatbatch noted that he had kept faith with the bulk of the team which lost all five recent one-day internationals in India.

“Despite recent one-day form, the squad is very capable and owe it to themselves and the New Zealand fans to put in a huge performance at the World Cup,” he said.

The New Zealanders are scheduled to play warm-up matches against Ireland in Nagpur Feb 12 and India Feb 16 in Chennai, before their opening Group A match against Kenya in Chennai Feb 20.

The squad: Daniel Vettori (captain), Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Jamie How, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Luke Woodcock, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, and Hamish Bennett.

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