Bracewell unveils plan of attack
New Zealand's plan of attack for the world Twenty20 cricket championship beginning next week in South Africa includes using the hitting power of Jacob Oram at the top of the batting order and playing Gareth Hopkins at wicketkeeper.
New Zealand coach John Bracewell, speaking from Johannesburg today, also gave a strong indication Jeetan Patel may feature in a double-prong spin atack with skipper Daniel Vettori.
New Zealand play two warm up games in Benoni - against Australia tomorrow and West Indies on Sunday - where Bracewell will "simulate closely the format we will play in the matches".
" Given that we are coming out of our winter, the warm-up games are just part of our preparation. It is handy to have the quality of the Australians to test where we are at with their practice regimes and routines.
"What we are trying to achieve is just get out on grass, hit out and try and simulate closely the format we will play in the matches."
Bracewell said big allrounder Oram would play at No 3 in the championship.
"We want to use a left hander in the top order and that's going to be Jacob Oram - the angles a left hander gives you in Twenty20, in my observations, can be useful in terms of hitting through the field rather than concentrating only on hitting over it.
"If he gets in, we know the power he can hit with, as sides go into the death quarter early in the matches."
He said Hopkins was considered a "death hitting" specialist so would come in at wicketkeeper while test and one-day keeper Brendon McCullum would open the batting and field.
In a broad hint that offspinner Patel and Vettori could operate in tandem for the competition, Bracewell said the tweakers would hold the key to winning the championship.
" I think quality spin bowling through the middle periods and the raw nature of Twenty20 ... they will hold the key for the team that wins this competition."
New Zealand begin their championship with a Group C match against Kenya on Wednesday in Durban and finish group play against Sri Lanka on September 15.