Image courtesy of: The Indian Express
Devcich recently scored his maiden first-class century against India A
Uncapped Northern Districts opening batsman Anton Devcich has finally been given his big break as he was included in New Zealand’s limited overs squad for their tour of Bangladesh, which gets underway in a few days.
Devcich is the only debutant in the 15-man squad and is likely to open the batting with Hamish Rutherford after Marin Guptill was ruled out of the series with a broken finger, which he sustained during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Pace bowler Adam Milne and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham were both included in the squad as well, but there was no place for wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi or all-rounder James Franklin.
Daniel Vettori has been ruled out of the entire tour due to an Achilles injury, while pace bowler Tim Southee makes his return, but only for the limited overs portion of the series.
Devcich received his international call-up after scoring his maiden first-class century against India A.
He followed up his century with scores of 48, 1 and 66 in the ODI matches against India A.
Bruce Edgar, the general manager of national selection, revealed that he had been keeping an eye on Devcich for some time now.
“Anton showed very good signs against England last season for New Zealand A and has transitioned from a middle order batsman to an aggressive top order player,” Edgar said. “He is also an outstanding fielder with the ability to contribute as a left arm spin bowling option which will be useful in the sub-continent.
“Adam [Milne] returns to the team after a number of injury concerns and he offers the squad genuine pace. We’ve been impressed with his rhythm and pace on the New Zealand A tour of India.”
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson noted that players like Neesham and Milne should take full advantage of the opportunity given to them as they could potentially cement their place in the national team.
“James is another left-handed batsman who is a powerful striker of the ball at any stage of the innings and like Anton and Adam, he’s in good form in India,” Hesson said.
New Zealand Squad: Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.