It was a surprise when New Zealand announced their squad for the T20 World Cup without the pacer Adam Milne in it. The 29-year-old had one of his best spells in the shortest format, during his stint with the Birmingham Phoenix, where he conceded at less than run a ball.
While he didn’t get the full run of games with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, his experience over the last year with the white-ball certainly has made him a key name. However, only an injury to Lockie Ferguson forced the management to pick the speedster in the setup.
"Obviously, it was a bit of a roller-coaster ride the other day [Tuesday] with obviously Lockie going down and then sort of being told: 'You are in', and then a few things happening and yeah it's exciting to be in [the team]," Milne said during a virtual media interaction.
"The good thing was I was already part of the group, so it's exciting to now have the opportunity to potentially play some games in this World Cup and hopefully make a difference with the New Zealand team.
Since 2020, the pacer has picked up 30 wickets in the shortest format, averaging 25.6 while conceding at just 7.3 RPO. When asked about his form, the pacer insisted that it is the best period of cricket that he has played in a long time.
'Yeah, I definitely feel like this has been the best period of cricket I've had in a long, long time," Milne said.
"I'd love to make the most of it and continue to use this period to develop and perform really well at a high level. This is definitely the best period of consistent cricket I've had for a long, long time. So, I'm excited to hopefully make a difference with the ball in these games here and really prove this period has been influential for me,” he added.
Regarding the variations that he has developed, the 29-year-old revealed that he has learnt the cutters and slower balls into the wicket, during his stint in franchise cricket.
"I've always tried to develop some sort of options with the slower balls that can do different things. I've learnt the cutters and different slower balls into the wicket, especially in grounds over here probably proved the most effective. So, yeah, sort of been working on those and perfecting and use them at the right time, which has been successful."
The Kiwi pacer also stressed that the express pace bowlers have been able to create uneven bounce and trouble the batters. His inclusion in the New Zealand setup might very well help them emulate similar strategies after they lost their opener against Pakistan.
"Yeah, I think so. If you looked at the way the pitch played and the pitches played throughout the course of the IPL, the faster guys that have been able to hit the wicket hard and create uneven bounce [and] have caused problems to batters," Milne said.
Milne opened up on the loss against Pakistan, stating that it was tough for the batters on that particular wicket to get hold of Haris Rauf, who was bowling at a high pace.
"I think the way that their bowlers... Haris Rauf is similar, very fast and hits the wicket hard and causes a bit of inconsistent bounce to pick up wickets. I think I'd have been able to add something to the team but it wasn't to be, and I thought our guys bowled really well and unfortunately for us, they came out and batted really well towards that end part of the game."