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Black Caps to unleash paceman v Aust

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2 days ago Steve Zemek
Head Coach Mike Hesson of New Zealand. © Kai Schwoerer / Getty Images Head Coach Mike Hesson of New Zealand.

New Zealand have promised to fight fire with fire and combat Australia's pace battery by unleashing little-known Lockie Ferguson in their one-day series.

Coach Mike Hesson says right-armer Ferguson is capable of express pace over 150km/h and is likely to make his international debut against the Aussies as early as Sunday's first match in Sydney.

The 25-year-old has played just 22 first-class and eight List A matches after being hampered by injuries for years, but looks set to be called on as an answer to Australia's attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

"With Adam Milne missing, Lockie gives us a point of difference in our attack," Hesson said.

"He hasn't played a huge amount up until the last two seasons. He's got over a lot of injuries, he's got to an age where those major issues tend to dissipate once you get to 24-25.

"He's a strong bowler, he's certainly quick and I'd be very surprised if he doesn't play at some point during this series."

Hesson refused to dig the boot into "big brother" following their embarrassing Test series defeat to the Proteas, instead warning the Australian one-day side was far more settled than the Test team.

The New Zealanders could take the world No.1 ranking from the Aussies with a 3-0 series whitewash, however Hesson insisted it was more important to retain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

Like the Australian Test side, the Black Caps are facing an enormous generational change and have just five players from their 2015 World Cup squad remaining.

Ferguson is likely to feature alongside quicks Trent Boult and Tim Southee with 30-year-old allrounder Colin de Grandhomme set to get a start after his impressive Test debut against Pakistan, in which he took six wickets in the opening innings.

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