Black Caps gamble on fitness of Oram
New Zealand cricket selectors have taken a punt naming injury-prone allrounder Jacob Oram in their Twenty20 World Cup squad announced today.
Oram had been selected for the tournament to be held in England in June on the assumption that he was fully fit, said Glenn Turner, the head of the selection panel.
Oram played no part in the three-test series against India because of an Achilles tendon strain. He is currently playing for Central Districts in the State Championship final against Auckland at Christchurch.
The fickle English climate had presented a challenge in selecting the side, Turner said.
"We're really not sure what conditions will prevail in early June.
"But being able to take 15 players means we have hopefully been able to cover all angles.
"In selecting the side we have been particularly conscious of selecting players in the middle and lower order who are boundary hitters.
"We have retained aggressive but more orthodox batsmen in the top order and we're looking for that extra aggression lower down the order as well."
Turner said wicketkeeper-batsman Peter McGlashan had proven himself as a good improviser in the middle order and was well suited to the 20-over game.
"Brendon Diamanti is another whose skills fit the short game format - he's a good striker of the ball an excellent fielder and has good skills with the ball."
Diamanti has yet to play in international Twenty20 matches, but was part of the T20 squad and played in the one-day series against Australia in February.
He comes into the side after good form in this season's State Shield, with a batting average of 47.6 and strike rate of 102, and a bowling economy rate of 5.77 in State Twenty20 games.
Four other players are recalled to the squad after being absent from the side which played two T20s against India - McGlashan, who played in the one-day series against India, was part of the T20 squad in Australia in February, Franklin played against Australia in February, while Kyle Mills and Scott Styris turned out in T20 games against the West Indies in December.
Two notable omissions from the 15-strong squad are one-day specialists Grant Elliott and Tim Southee, who are both on the list of replacement or cover players.
The squad will travel to England in mid-May and hold a training camp before the competition starts.
Warm-up matches begin on June 1 with New Zealand playing India at Lord's, then facing Australia at the Oval the following day.
The World Twenty20 opens on June 5. New Zealand's group round matches are against Scotland on June 6 at the Oval, and South Africa on June 9 at Lords.
New Zealand squad: Daniel Vettori (captain), Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Brendon Diamanti, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor.
The replacement or cover players are: Peter Ingram, Shanan Stewart, Aaron Redmond, Craig Cumming, Peter Fulton, Jamie How, James Marshall, Gareth Hopkins, Grant Elliott, Ewen Thompson, Tim Southee, Michael Mason, Warren McSkimming, Chris Martin, Jeetan Patel.