There is no substitute for raw pace - and since Shane Bond left the Black Caps it has been sorely missed.

So I am heartened to see young speedster Adam Milne back in the picture. But I'm not sure T20 is the place for this kid to develop into the spearhead our country needs.

Aside from the warm-up game against Australia overnight, Milne has played three T20 internationals and has one wicket at an average just shy of 12 runs per over.

His domestic record is hardly startling, going at over 8. So why is he in this team?


It must be because he has the ability to bowl fast. Milne is gifted with raw pace.

That excites me and don't get me wrong: I like this kid. However, he would be better suited bowling fast spells and learning to work batsmen over and out. This is achieved in the longer forms of the game. Is bowling slower balls and massive variations in line and length really what he needs right now?

I'll concede he has had injury problems which have stopped him playing much cricket over the last few years; he has only managed six first-class matches. Perhaps having him charge in for just four overs a game for New Zealand is a good way to encourage and expose him to international cricket and lessen the chance of him limping out of the game, but right now surely his experiences are doing little for him. I'll also concede that he is unlikely to command a place in the test team but in time, he could provide that spearhead that turns the promising seam and swing qualities of Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee and Trent Boult into a proper bowling unit.

T20 is a baptism of fire for a young cricketer and because of its importance to the modern cricketer, it is certainly not "a bit of fun" any longer. If the Black Caps decide to persevere with Milne in this form and the lad comes through, I will be thrilled.

But unless the kid can find the confidence and pace to blast players out with yorkers and bouncers, this experiment could ruin him. At the very least, it could make him defensive-minded.

Some of the world's fastest bowlers have gravitated to T20 at the expense of test cricket with success, but these players did so on the back of a lot of overs in first-class and/or test cricket.

In Milne we have something to be really excited about - but he needs overs under his belt or we risk losing him, and never seeing what a genuine quick bowler can do for our team.