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Bruce, Wheeler in for T20 Black Caps

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/12/2016

Central Stags batsman Tom Bruce is in line for a Black Caps debut after being named for the side's upcoming Twenty-20 series with Bangladesh.

Bruce, 25, has averaged 76 in domestic T20 this season and will add to the side's offensive threat alongside Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro.

"Tom has been one of the leading players in Super Smash the past two years and is one of the cleanest strikers of a ball in this country," selector Gavin Larsen says.

With the ball, the planned absences of Tim Southee and Trent Boult will give Ben Wheeler the chance to don the black shirt again.

The 25-year-old paceman has made six ODI appearances for New Zealand, the last in 2015, but is yet to make an international T20 debut.

Southee will miss the entire three-match series, while Boult will sit out the first T20 match in Napier next Tuesday.

Fellow bowlers Doug Bracewell, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne will also miss all three matches with injury.

"Ben's ability to swing the ball at a decent clip can trouble any batsman, as he's shown in domestic cricket," Larsen says.

Meanwhile, batsman Ross Taylor has been omitted from the side for performance-related reasons rather than fitness-related.

Taylor, 32, is currently recovering from eye surgery but is expected to return for the side's Test series against Bangladesh next month.

He'll also return to domestic T20 action in the coming days.

BLACK CAPS T20: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ben Wheeler.

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