New Zealand last week gave a test debut to 30-year-old Andy McKay. Andrew Alderson looks at five bowlers who could replace ageing quicks Chris Martin (35), Daryl Tuffey (32) and Kyle Mills (31).

1 Neil Wagner (Otago)

The 24-year-old is currently the country's Most Valuable Player (MVP) under the rankings system - it's just a shame he's not eligible for the Black Caps until April.

He has 24 wickets so far this season at an average of 12.75, including 10-110 match figures to dismantle Auckland. More significantly, 18 of his wickets have been top-six batsmen.

The left-arm pace bowler comes from a provincial career in South Africa but has said he moved because he wanted to get picked on ability not skin colour or who he knew.


He has since been at the forefront of the New Zealand bowling ranks over the past three years and will be a potential test saviour if he can keep whizzing deliveries through at more than 140km/h.

Wagner had the chance to play English county cricket for Sussex but ultimately wants to play tests which is why New Zealand won through. He's not a big fan of English sport.

2 Doug Bracewell (Central)

His surname's weight of expectation appears to have been of little burden to the 20-year-old who is entering his third first-class season. Bracewell has represented the New Zealand under-19s with credibility and has edged his way out of the shadow cast by his father, Brendon.

The word in the provinces is that Bracewell is getting a lot closer to the stumps this season, which means he is generating more outswing.

The proof is 10 wickets at 32.50 this season, compared to a career average of 48.16.

He has already been touted as a possible bargain buy for the Indian Premier League, possibly with the Pune Warriors, where former Central Districts coach Dermot Reeve is the new assistant to former Australia coach Geoff Marsh.

3 Ben Wheeler (Central)


The 19-year-old's name is constantly brought up by anyone who has anything to do with New Zealand age-group cricket.

The left-armer bowls close to the stumps at speeds regularly up around 140km/h.

He presents danger to right and left-handed batsmen because he can swing the ball both ways.

Wheeler has also shown he's not one who merely chips out the tail. Seven wickets in his 9-102 against Wellington recently were top-six batsmen.

That rocketed him into third on the MVP table after two rounds of the Plunket Shield. He now has 17 first-class wickets at an average of 22.11.

Wheeler joined Central Districts for September's Champions' League in South Africa but didn't play.

He played for New Zealand at this year's under-19 World Cup.

4 Trent Boult (Northern)

The left-armer who sometimes goes by the doubly appropriate nickname Lightning was taken to Australia with the Black Caps for the Chappell-Hadlee series in 2009 but played in only the Prime Minister's XI match. Boult was carted around in excess of six runs per over. It was a decision many, including his ND coach Grant Bradburn, felt was premature.

The Wasim Akram fan is still tipped as a player who can give batsmen the hurry-up with deliveries clocked in the mid-140km/h range. But he has had problems with a stress fracture in his back.Last week he sat out ND's Plunket Shield loss to Canterbury because of tenderness.

Last season the 21-year-old took nine Plunket Shield wickets at an average of 26.44 - this year he has eight wickets at 27.75, including a 5-48 to help ND beat Wellington. A promising future still beckons.

5 Adam Milne (Central)

At 18, Milne is a bolter in this mix, considering he has not played first-class cricket this season. The right-armer is described as someone who is not textbook, bowling wide of the crease, but provides a decent rhythm and a heavy ball that hits the bat after seemingly little effort.

Milne played three first-class games last season taking 11 wickets at 27.54 but is fighting for a spot among the likes of Michael Mason, Mitchell McClenaghan, Bracewell and Wheeler. Milne took a couple of wickets at the Champions' League, which prompted CD's new bowling adviser Shane Bond to take notice - he says Milne is the quickest of the current crop.