Tuffey the only surprise in Kiwis~~ WC squad

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Wellington:The New Zealand cricket selectors remained loyal to the established members of their one-day cricket squad for the World Cup in the West Indies, despite a disappointing summer.

The dismal record of just six wins in their last 16 one-day internationals may have been enough to change the line-up, but the selectors resisted the chance to experiment when they named their 15-man World Cup squad on Tuesday.

The only surprise was the recall of opening bowler Daryl Tuffey, two years after he was sidelined with a torn shoulder tendon.

Although the slow nature of pitches expected in the West Indies could work against Tuffey, coach John Bracewell said his ability to take the ball away from right-handers made him the ideal replacement for the injured Kyle Mills.

When New Zealand failed to make the finals of the recent tri-series with Australia and England in Australia, captain Stephen Fleming admitted the team was not performing well but said they were not despondent.

"We as performers let John (Bracewell) and selectors down and exposed ourselves to criticism that's deserving," Fleming said.

"But within the camp we are pretty comfortable with the direction we are heading."

Tuffey, who beat off Andre Adams and Chris Martin to replace Mills, has played 76 one-day international matches since his debut in 2000 and taken 90 wickets at an average of 29.92.

"I knew I was close but obviously I was closer than I thought," Tuffey said, adding his selection was "a real surprise but really exciting."

New Zealand's batting stocks do appear to be brightening with the eye-catching return of Lou Vincent -- replacing the retired Nathan Astle and passing 50 in three of four innings during the tri-series.

Jacob Oram returned to the squad from injury and unleashed some powerful hitting in Australia as did newcomer Ross Taylor, but there was never a game where all 11 fired at the same time.

With New Zealand heading into a home series against Australia in a final tune-up before the World Cup, Bracewell put the emphasis on consistency.

"We're turning up with two good skills and missing one per game," he said.

"We have to deliver all three facets (batting, bowling and fielding) in order to be challengers to Australia and contenders in the World Cup.

"We can do all three things very, very well. It's a matter of getting the consistency together."

New Zealand squad: Stephen Fleming (captain), Shane Bond, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum, Craig McMillan, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori, Lou Vincent


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