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Gary Stead previews Black Caps matches against Pakistan - The Mike Hosking Breakfast

The Mike Hosking Breakfast

The New Zealand bowling stocks are set to get even deeper, with another promising paceman a chance to make his international debut tonight.
Otago's Jacob Duffy is a chance to run out for the Black Caps in their opening Twenty20 match against Pakistan at Eden Park, with his opportunity coming after the New Zealand selectors opted to rest key seamers Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult for the first game of the three-match series after their performances in the second test victory over the West Indies earlier this week.
The likes of Blair Tickner, Scott Kuggeleijn and Doug Bracewell will be relied upon alongside Duffy to supply the necessary pace against Pakistan in tonight's opener.
Duffy, a 26-year-old right-armer who's been a domestic standout in recent years, played for the New Zealand A side during their two matches against the West Iindies as part of the latter's pre-tour preparations.
Duffy says his palate's been teased by some international flavour.
"The good thing about that is your realise you're not too far off in terms of your skill levels, you can actually compete with guys at international level… you just got to take that into this and back your skills, and hope it's good enough."
One particular seamer who has flourished on the international scene straight after success at domestic level has been an inspiration to Duffy. Jamieson burst onto the scene last summer after encouraging performances for Auckland, and his eight international matches across all formats have been superb.
"He's absolutely killed it… he's done very well in domestic cricket and he's shown the next level up is just another level," Duffy says.
"Yes everyone's a bit better but your skills are still good here in New Zealand in domestic cricket. It's not easy playing here, some of the small grounds and good wickets we play on, it prepares you well for what's to come at the next level.
"The bowling stocks in New Zealand cricket are at the best they've ever been, it's awesome to watch."
It hasn't been a smooth ride for Duffy on his travels to an international debut, since he first donned a domestic strip at 17.
"A few ups and downs in my career… I actually went through an actionary model about four or five years ago, coach Rob Walter and Anton Roux sat me down… they knew something was a bit off so went back to the drawing board, I missed a lot of cricket one summer. Honestly, that's turned my career around.
"I was just falling away and wasn't swinging the ball anymore, little bit inaccurate. I was bowling 135 [kilometres] and not shaping the ball, doing no good to anyone."
The Black Caps will be hoping fringe players like Duffy can step up in the absence of their stars, including Kane Williamson, who will miss the opening game and potentially further matches after his daughter was born on Wednesday night.
However, the visitors are also missing some key players, most crucially captain and star batsman Babar Azam, who won't feature after fracturing his right thumb in training, and is in doubt for the first test on Boxing Day.
text by NZ Herald
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