Young Firebirds Jakob Bhula, Ben Sears and Andrew Fletcher have all been selected in the New Zealand XI squad to face Bangladesh in a two-day warm-up game at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln this weekend.
Central Stags speedster Adam Milne will lead an exciting three prong pace attack alongside Canterbury’s Edward Nuttall and 21-year-old Sears who has enjoyed a successful debut season in all three formats for the Firebirds.
Northern Districts batsman Bharat Popli will captain the side, with Otago’s Max Chu to keep wickets in the two-day match which coincides with Thursday’s fifth-round of the Plunket Shield.
Following the New Zealand XI’s victory over Bangladesh in the one-day warm-up match earlier this month, selector Gavin Larsen expected the young team to give a good account of themselves.
“We’ve pulled together a competitive side which features a number of our Under 19 World Cup players from last year and they should give Bangladesh a quality hit-out ahead of their three-Test series against the BLACKCAPS, which starts next Thursday in Hamilton,” Larsen said.
“It will be exciting to see how the pace-bowlers go as they are three of the quicker guys on the domestic circuit and will be keen to test themselves against international opposition.
“We’re especially looking forward to seeing Adam with the red ball in his hand as he continues his bowling progress after a positive return in the Burger King Super Smash.”
The Firebirds pairing of Jakob Bhula and the in-form Andrew Fletcher will open the batting, with Dale Phillips, Nick Kelly and Ken McClure set to feature in the middle order.
Canterbury’s Blake Coburn and Otago’s Ben Lockrose are the spinners included in the squad.
The two-day match starts at 11am on Saturday and will be live-streamed at nzc.nz.
NZ XI v Bangladesh
Bharat Popli (c) (Northern Districts)
Jakob Bhula (Wellington Firebirds)
Max Chu (wk) (Otago Volts)
Blake Coburn (Canterbury)
Andrew Fletcher (Wellington Firebirds)
Nick Kelly (Northern Districts)
Ben Lockrose (Otago Volts)
Adam Milne (Central Stags)
Edward Nuttall (Canterbury)
Dale Phillips (Auckland Aces)
Ben Sears (Wellington Firebirds)
*No players selected for round-five of the Plunket Shield were considered for this squad.