Kane Williamson: 'A great opportunity' for Scott Kuggeleijn

By David Leggat, in Hamilton

Scott Kuggeleijn. Photo / Photosport
Scott Kuggeleijn. Photo / Photosport

Scott Kuggeleijn's cricket talents received a ringing endorsement from New Zealand captain Kane Williamson today.

The Northern Districts allrounder has been added to the New Zealand squad for the deciding third test against South Africa, starting tomorrow, after key swing bowler Trent Boult was ruled out last night with a groin injury.

Williamson kept strictly to cricket thoughts, staying from the issue of Kuggeleijn's selection after his acquittal a month ago on a rape charge.

''He's an exciting prospect, been playing very well for a number of years at domestic level," Williamson said.

''He's been one of the top performers with the ball in hand but has also scored a number of runs in that middle to lower order.

''We have a number of injuries so it's a great opportunity for him to come into the environment."

Williamson said Kuggeleijn has been touted as a player for the future for a while now.

''It's exciting for him to be involved."

Kuggeleijn, 24, has played 51 first-class games for Wellington and Northern Districts in the last six seasons, taking 166 wickets at 33 apiece, has scored three centuries and averages 30.98 with the bat.

He has useful one-day numbers too. The losses of injury of Boult and Tim Southee, who has a hamstring injury, opened a door and the Herald understands Auckland fast bowler Lockie Ferguson was the first choice for the selectors.

However Ferguson picked up an injury during Auckland's Plunket Shield win over Otago this week, in which the fast bowler took five for 53 and three for 45.

Williamson admitted the injuries won't help New Zealand's chances of squaring the series in their final game of the season.

''There's a number of young guys in the team and they're really looking forward to the challenge of playing one of the best teams in world cricket.

''We want to go out show some fight, play a few shots, bowl in the right areas, be nice and aggressive and leave it all out on the field."

New Zealand won the first four tests of the home summer against Pakistan and Bangladesh and drew the first South African test in Dunedin before falling apart on day three of the second test in Wellington last week, losing by eight wickets.

- NZ Herald

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