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Rutherford set to attack at the top

Published: 4:59PM Friday February 08, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

Debutant Hamish Rutherford is set to be given a free licence when he opens the batting for the Black Caps in their first Twenty20 International in Auckland tomorrow night.

Captain Brendon McCullum confirmed today that 23 year-old Rutherford would face the new ball, with Martin Guptill at the other end.

Ex-captain Ross Taylor is set to make his international return in his favoured No. 4 spot, while McCullum will bat at first drop.

McCullum told reporters that they will allow Rutherford to play his natural game when he takes to the crease for his first taste of the big time.

"Hamish Rutherford's brief is to be very much aggressive and just to play his normal positive game and to allow him the ability to go out there and try and win the game early on," McCullum said.

"That's a good brief for him and if he gets out doing it, it's ok, we can just revert to type from there so we're excited by his presence in this series.

"He's a young, dynamic player who has the ability to take the game away from the opposition so we hope that he starts his international career as well as what we know he can do."

New Zealand will carry some confidence into the match, following their recent one-day series win over South Africa and England's loss to the New Zealand XI earlier this week.

McCullum reiterated the need to pick up where they left off in South Africa.

"It's really important, we had a good finish to the South African tour, but that shouldn't be the exception for us, that should be the norm for us in short-form cricket, we just haven't been living up to that in recent times.

"That's the expectation I have of this group is that we win this T20 and one day series and we execute as well as we can, because we know that England are dangerous, they've got some players that are capable of taking the game away fom us in a pretty short space of time."