Chapman, Seifert set for New Zealand debuts

Cricket


Batsman Mark Chapman and wicketkeeper Tim Seifert have been called up to New Zealand’s T20 squad as they aim to revive their tri-series campaign following the opening-match drubbing at the hands of Australia in Sydney.

Chapman, 23, was born in Hong Kong and has played two ODIs and 19 T20Is for them but qualifies for New Zealand through his father. A left-handed batsman, Chapman has been pushing hard for a call-up this season with prolific white-ball form and replaces Tom Bruce. He scored 307 runs with a strike-rate of 171.50 in the Super Smash and is the leading run-scorer in the Ford Trophy by a distance on 433.

The uncapped Seifert, also 23, will take over the wicketkeeping role from Tom Blundell who himself replaced fellow wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips during the series against Pakistan in what is becoming a revolving position in New Zealand’s T20 side as they seek a long-term successor to Luke Ronchi. He also enjoyed a strong Super Smash with 323 runs at a strike-rate of 146.81. Seifert and Chapman scored two of the three centuries made in this year’s tournament.

“Mark has been very consistent over the past couple of seasons and has taken his game to another level in recent times,” selector Gavin Larsen said. “His ability to hit the ball in all areas makes him a real threat and we’ve seen in the domestic competition some of the power he possesses.”

Bruce made 3 against Australia before top-edging Billy Stanlake having scored 26, 11 and 22 in the series against Pakistan. Blundell came in at No. 6 in that match after New Zealand’s early problems and his omission is partly a knock-on effect of Bruce being dropped.

“It’s hard on Tom Blundell, but with Tom Bruce not in the squad we wanted to inject some further power into that middle order and Tim has shown he’s one the most dynamic in the country at that,” Larsen said. “We have some strong options with the gloves at the moment, but it’s about what best complements the rest of the squad and we think that’s Tim for this series.”

Seamer Seth Rance also drops out of the squad that flew to Sydney leaving Ben Wheeler as the pace back-up to Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

New Zealand limped to 117 for 9 at the SCG, with only Colin de Grandhomme coming to terms with conditions as he made 38 off 24 balls, and will resume their tri-series campaign against England in Wellington on Saturday. Australia have set the early pace in the tournament, following their victory against New Zealand with a win over England in Hobart.



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