McMillan looks to play himself back into Black Caps
13 April 2006Â
By COLIN MARSHALL
Batsman Craig McMillan is looking forward to a mid-winter tour to Australia as a chance to re-ignite his chances of playing for the Black Caps at next year's cricket world cup in the West Indies.
And as captain of one of two New Zealand teams named today, McMillan won't be shy of giving himself a bowl.
McMillan was yesterday named captain of New Zealand's "Team 2" to play a mixture of four-day, one-day and 20/20 matches against 'A' sides and academy teams from Australia, India, South Africa and Pakistan from June to July in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Current Black Cap Peter Fulton will captain "Team 1".
The pair will lead a host of current and former Black Caps as well as up-and-coming provincial players as New Zealand Cricket (NZC) looks to build its senior side ahead of next year's world cup.
Current South Africa tourists Fulton, Jamie How, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Michael Papps and Jeetan Patel are named in the squads.
Also in the squads are fringe and former internationals including McMillan, Mathew Sinclair, James Marshall, Michael Mason, Ross Taylor, Lou Vincent, Matthew Bell, and Gareth Hopkins.
AdvertisementAdvertisementMcMillan hasn't played for New Zealand's one-day side since playing Australia in December and his last test was a year ago, but he told NZPA he was looking forward to leading a side in Australia.
"I'm very excited about it. I'd planned a quiet winter at home this year â€“ I wasn't going to England â€“ so I really look forward to the prospect of playing some good cricket over in Australia," he said.
"I suppose it means I'm still in the picture (for the Black Caps), which is great."
McMillan was relatively satisfied with his batting form over the past domestic season.
"I thought it was an okay season, without managing the big score that I was looking for.
"I averaged 30, which I don't think is good enough for me. I think I need to be closer to 40."
He felt a couple of big scores in Australia would make the New Zealand selectors sit up and take notice.
Before heading to Australia, he would be working on some technical aspects of his batting.
"There's a couple of areas I'd like to just tighten up," he said.
"They're just little things that sometimes creep into your game during a season that you can't get rid of during a season because of the constant play-train."
McMillan would be giving himself a bowl in Australia as he felt he might need that in his armoury if he was recalled to the Black Caps.
"Most definitely. That's the best thing about being captain â€“ you get the chance to roll the arm over.
"It's something that I've done a lot more this year than I have the past two years and I'd like to continue working on that because I think it could be an important option when squads and teams are picked."
The Australian tour was a definite opportunity to press for a Black Caps' spot at the World Cup, he said.
"I've said all along I'd love to go to the World Cup.
"I've been to two other ones before where we've got close but haven't quite got as far as we'd hoped."
Before hearing of his selection, McMillan had been having a few weeks off following the end of the State Championship.
He hadn't had much contact with the selectors other than a couple of e-mails as to what they were after from him in Australia.
Meanwhile, the Blacks Caps' first training session on the match venue never advanced past a brief kick about with a football before rain forced the squad to retreat indoors at SuperSport Park yesterday.
Gloomy weather enveloped the ground shortly after the team arrived from in Centurion from Johannesburg under police escort, denying Shane Bond an early chance to test his suspect right knee on the outdoor nets.
Instead the team had a workout in the indoor net facility, though they were hopeful of returning outdoors later today if the weather cleared.
The wicket block was well covered and ground staff perfected their tarpaulin laying technique â€“ an exercise they seem destined to repeat over the coming week â€“ as bad weather threatens to mar the series opener.
Team 1: Peter Fulton (captain), James Marshall (vice captain), Graham Aldridge, Brendan Diamanti, Mark Gillespie, Jamie How, Michael Mason, Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan, Warren McSkimming, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Lou Vincent. Staff: Richard Hadlee (manager), Bob Carter (coach), Ashley Ross and Mike Hesson (assistant coaches and video analysis).
Team 2: Craig McMillan (captain), Matthew Bell (vice captain), Hamish Bennett, Gareth Hopkins, Bruce Martin, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Rob Nicol, Mark Orchard, Michael Papps, Jeetan Patel, Mathew Sinclair, Richard Sherlock. Staff: Dayle Hadlee (manager) Mark O'Donnell (coach) Vaughn Johnson (assistant coach).
Interesting, will be good for new zealand cricket if some of these players stand up and take notice. especially with teh champions trophy coming up, it will give us a huge chance.
The thing i am sad about is harry, he isnt in either of the teams and it lookslike his international career is truly over now. Hopefully he can stay on for canterbury for another year or so but who knows. Unless of course he is unavialable due to going to england, but i havnt heard anything. still cant beleive cairns is going over to play for notts