Kiwis put faith in unknown tearaway

Coach Hesson expects lightning quick Ferguson to debut against Australians

The upcoming Chappell-Hadlee series is set to feature three of the fastest bowlers in the world, including one quick that’s yet to play international cricket.

Speedsters Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are capable of hitting speeds in excess of 150kph, but while the world has seen what the Australian dynamic duo can do with a white ball, unknown Black Cap Lockie Ferguson can bowl just as fast.

“With Adam Milne missing, Lockie gives us that point of difference in our attack,” Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said in Sydney on Thursday.

“He hasn’t played a huge amount up until the last two seasons where he’s got over a lot of injuries.

“He’s got to an age when those major issues tend to dissipate a bit, when you get to 24 or 25.

“He’s a strong bowler, he’s certainly quick and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t play at some stage this series.

“Like Milne, they’ve both bowled over 150kph at times.”

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Ferguson, 25, has starred for Auckland at first-class level this season, taking 15 wickets at 19.8 in has past three Plunket Shield matches, to go with 16 wickets in eight 50-over domestic matches.

New Zealand hasn’t toured Australia with a genuine pace bowler capable of hitting the speeds that Ferguson can since lightning quick Shane Bond was with the squad close to a decade ago.

In 17 matches against Australia, Bond claimed 44 wickets at 15.79 runs apiece, and was even more destructive away from home across the Tasman Sea, taking 18 wickets in six matches at 14.94.

While Bond and Ferguson might share raw speed, Hesson says that’s where the similarities end.

“They are different types of bowlers,” he said. “Shane swung the ball.

"Lockie’s at the early stages of his career but we know he’s capable of bowling at pace at times.

“It’s difficult, your first series, there’s going to be some nerves. But he’s a confident character.”

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Meg Lanning Steve Smith