Fast bowling is about more than speedball radars.

Adam Milne's 153km/h delivery against the West Indies has produced a frenzy of publicity casting him as a new Shane Bond, capable of shredding international batting line-ups with express pace.

Steady on. Deliveries in the 150km/h-plus range also tend to ping louder against boundary hoardings when they misfire.

Milne has long been touted as a 'prospect'. Emphasis needs to be placed on the final word of that sentence. The 21-year-old became the focus of irrational pressure last week, a circus act, because of his radar numbers in the T20 at Eden Park. In reality, if the distraction of the radar is put aside, Milne bowled four sound overs and took one for 15 when Lendl Simmons went after him and edged behind chasing 190.


Mitchell McClenaghan, who shook the limited overs world in 2013, is the New Zealand bowler India should place under the most scrutiny. If the 27-year-old avoids the symptoms of second-year syndrome, as international teams get frame-by-frame analysis of his bowling arsenal, he will be hard to handle.

McClenaghan might only bowl in the high 130km/h to low 140km/h region but there has been a renaissance of guile over outright pace in the last couple of years. Just ask South Africa's Vern Philander, the fastest bowler to 50 test wickets, who delivers in a similar range to McClenaghan. If the right lengths, upright seam presentation, slower balls and varied lines on or just outside off stump are achieved, then 5-10km/h of speed is expendable.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has encouraged rather than curbed McClenaghan's aggression; it has resulted in 43 wickets at 20.04 from 18 ODIs and 11 wickets at 25.90 in 10 T20Is. McClenaghan has given batsmen little room for error, especially establishing their innings. Thirteen of his ODI dismissals were openers, 30 were in the top six and 25 scored less than 10.

McClenaghan topped New Zealand's wicket tallies in both formats during 2013 and had the second best ODI strike rate behind Indian leg spinner Amit Mishra for those who'd bowled more than 13 overs. Should McClenaghan take an unlikely seven wickets in his next ODI, he will equal Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis as the fastest player to 50.

He is now an established strike weapon who forms a potent combination with Tim Southee and Kyle Mills (who took 23 ODI wickets at 29.56 and one T20I at 58 in two matches last year). If anyone is unlucky not to have a limited overs presence, it's Trent Boult.

New Zealand Cricket has long been guilty of picking bolters who reach their use-by date prematurely. Think Brian Barrett and Robert Kennedy, among others. There are few exceptions, such as Daniel Vettori and Southee, who skipped a sustained first-class and limited overs apprenticeship.

Milne is doing a lot right. He is mentored by Bond, he is building his body and fitness into a weapon to sustain the rigours of fast bowling - an unnatural human motion at the best of times - and he excelled for New Zealand on the A tour to India and Sri Lanka last year. Milne was the best of the development bowlers in the tour's one-day matches, taking 14 wickets at 18.35, including five for 61 against Sri Lanka A.

Suggestions Milne should be fast-tracked into the test team, presumably at Neil Wagner's expense, is roulette-type thinking.

It forgets a) Wagner has a terrific first-class pedigree and b) someone needs to do the graft into the wind for Boult and Southee to reap the wicket-taking glory. Doug Bracewell and McClenaghan should be next in line anyway.

Milne has played a mere 13 first-class matches and taken one five-wicket bag to gift Central Districts a Plunket Shield win over Otago last season. His 39 wickets have come at 30.56. In 24 list A matches, he has 36 wickets at 29.13 and in 29 T20s he has 27 wickets at 31.81. Internationally, his ODI and T20I averages are 172 and 78.50 respectively.

Consolidation is the watchword. Bond was 26 and had four seasons of domestic cricket behind him before producing arguably the most incisive spells in New Zealand ODI history to dismantle Australia during the 2001-02 tri-series. Milne needs a chance to settle so he can sustain a career rather than being remembered for a fleeting link with the number 150.