New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne celebrates the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara during the tour of Sri Lanka. (AFP)
New Zealand's new pace sensation Adam Milne is ready to crank up the speed-gun in the ODI series against India as the Kiwis look to rattle the famed Indian batting line-up with pace.
Milne, 21, was included in New Zealand's 14-man ODI squad announced on Wednesday - after impressing team coach and selector Mike Hesson with speeds touching 150 kmph in the first T20 against the West Indies.
The tearaway pacer recently turned heads with a 153kmph delivery in the Auckland T20 match, but cricket wasn't his first love; it was football.
As recently as 2011, Milne played in New Zealand's Chatham Cup football final for Wairarapa United, but the Kiwi pacer says it's past now. "No further aspirations at this stage; I haven't played in about a year or so," he said. "I enjoyed playing football; it's always good fun but it's starting to come to its end at the moment."
The young pacer has played just six ODIs so far with a best of 1 for 17 but is gathering rhythm to touch the hallowed 160kmph mark. India skipper MS Dhoni, however, isn't perturbed. "We will face him," he said. "I think it's [pace] a good asset to have but at the same time it's a difficult one to master."
Former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull concurs with Dhoni, saying that pace won't be a problem while terming the Indian batting "a mountain to climb" for the Kiwi pacers.
"Guys like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni will hurt you, whether it's pace or spin you bowl to them. Young India batsmen are a lot better than they used to be at facing pace," Doull has said. "It will be a real mountain for the New Zealand bowlers to climb."
Doull's comments came a day after former Australia skipper Ian Chappell also praised the young Indian batting crop. "India is producing by far the best young batsmen currently, and in addition to [Shikhar] Dhawan, [Virat] Kohli, [Cheteshwar] Pujara and Rohit Sharma, Unmukt Chand is one for the future," Chappell had told PTI in an interview.