Fitness issues cost McMillan

The New Zealand selectors were disappointed with the fitness levels of Craig McMillan and Jesse Ryder during the Top End Series in Australia last month.

McMillan’s run of low scores in the Top End Series along with his physical condition saw him axed from the 30-man provisional squad for the Champions Trophy, while Ryder scraped through on the back of his stand-out performances in the series where he scored 346 runs from seven matches.

Bracewell told the Herald on Sunday that McMillan “should know better” after “being on a contract for eight years” and turned up fit for the tournament.

On Ryder, Bracewell said “it’s a completely separate issue from Craig. Jessie’s only 22 and has only just become involved in our A programme.”

McMillan, speaking last week from England, said it was “a bit of a joke” to not be ranked in the top 30 players.

Ryder is being placed on a fitness programme to improve his fitness levels, but it appears as though his poor physical condition has already cost him a place in the final squad of 14 for the Champions Trophy.

Bracwell had some positive news, with Bond beginning his bowling programme two days ago, along with fellow Black Caps Jacob Oram and Kyle Mills.

“Those guys look like they’ll be ready for tournament selection,” Bracewell said.

“We’re still not progressing as quickly as we’d like with Michael Mason but as far as those guys go, we’re mostly on target,” Bracwell added.

New Zealand kick off their Champions Trophy campaign against South Africa at the Wankhede Stadium on October 16.

New Zealand Champions Trophy Provisional Squad
Stephen Fleming (captain), Andre Adams, Nathan Astle, Shane Bond, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Chris Harris, Gareth Hopkins, Jamie How, Hamish Marshall, James Marshall, Chris Martin, Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan, Warren McSkimming, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Mark Orchard, Michael Papps, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Bradley Scott, Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Lou Vincent, Daniel Vettori.

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