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Cricket: Colin Munro gets chance to stamp mark

Colin Munro had a frustrating summer. Photo / Photosport
Colin Munro had a frustrating summer. Photo / Photosport

Colin Munro's return provides an intriguing sub-plot to New Zealand's one-day internationals against Bangladesh and hosts Ireland next month.

He will temp until Indian Premier League players resume their roles in June's Champions Trophy, but strong performances would demonstrate his desire to be part of the 2019 World Cup campaign in England.

Munro had a frustrating summer. He starred on occasion, including a maiden Twenty20 international century from 52 balls and a highest ODI score of 87, both against Bangladesh.

However, he failed too often. A two and three against Australia, supplemented by a golden duck in the South African T20, meant he wasn't required for further international duty.

His problems intensified when he was stood down from the eighth round of the Plunket Shield for using "inappropriate language" in a match. The fear in some quarters is Munro's talent might never be fully harnessed.

The 30-year-old has been contracted to franchises in the Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, IPL and English T20 Blast over the past year. It would be understandable if he pursued T20 endeavours ahead of international honours. Lengthy tours would keep him away from his young family for the majority of the year.

The manner in which he returns to the Black Caps should provide a gauge. Does he remain as a middle-order player or is there scope to use him as an attacking opener? Having the maximum resources at his disposal might be the ideal way for Munro's tempo to find a rhythm. A century scored within 20 of 50 overs is certain to have a powerful impact on the result.

Players in the Mike Hesson coaching era are judged on their ability to win games rather than their average. Perhaps the team could benefit from such a move, and the left-hander could stamp his mark.

- Herald on Sunday

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