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Oram fills new role for Twenty20

All-rounder Jacob Oram is set to fill a new top order role for New Zealand in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.

Oram, who normally bats at six or seven in other forms of the game, has been earmarked for the number three slot.

"The angles a left-hander gives you are useful in terms of hitting the ball through the field instead of over it.

"We will be looking to him to get set quickly as teams go into 'death mode' earlier in this type of competition," said coach John Bracewell.

New Zealand have warm-up games against Australia and West Indies lined up before beginning the tournament proper against Kenya next Wednesday.

And they are also considering using Gareth Hopkins as wicket-keeper, so first-choice Brendon McCullum can concentrate on opening the batting.

"Gareth is a specialist 'death' hitter so we see an opportunity for both of them to play. It is also another chance to build our wicket-keeping depth," explained Bracewell.

The Kiwis also expect spin bowling to be crucial in their bid to win the Twenty20 title.

"Experience from matches played in England show that spinners who bowl really slowly are most effective. We have three quality spinners, so we are well equipped," Bracewell added.

One of them, Daniel Vettori, has the added responsibility of captaining the team following the decision to leave Stephen Fleming out of their squad.

"To have a team under your guidance makes a huge difference. You get to do things your way, and it is daunting.

"But I think it will be great fun. There's a good feel to Twenty20 cricket - there are usually good crowds, who have a more relaxed approach," he said.

"I expect us to do pretty well and we've had a good break since the World Cup.

"We have a few new faces, but the core of the New Zealand side has been settled for some time.

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