Peter McGlashan may have played only four One-Day Internationals and seven Twenty20 Internationals for New Zealand, but he has already revealed an innovative mind. Not only does he have a stroke repertoire that borders on the outrageous, he has also helped design a state-of-the-art facemask for wicketkeepers.

McGlashan, who is in Chennai with the New Zealand ‘A’ squad for the Buchi Babu invitation tournament, said his limitations had forced him to think out of the box. “Most of us are not blessed with power, and that leads to innovation,” he said, explaining why he chooses to paddle-and reverse-sweep the quicks.

The 30-year-old McGlashan realises he’s fortunate to play limited-overs cricket for New Zealand. First-choice Brendon McCullum wants to manage his workload so he can keep wickets in Test cricket, and he often plays as a batsman in the shorter forms. But McGlashan has done enough to justify his selection, an aggressive, typically unorthodox half-century against India earlier this year showing the extent of his powers. His courage to play such a high-risk game at the international level impressed his captain, Daniel Vettori.

His innovation has extended beyond the field. “The facemask is much lighter than a batting helmet, so you don’t sweat as much,” said McGlashan, talking about the protective equipment he innovated from baseball.

Protective equipment

“The grille is designed so it doesn’t obstruct your vision. It’s a design I worked on based on my requirements while wicket-keeping. Dinesh Karthik spoke to me about in New Zealand and was impressed. His using it during the IPL made it popular.”

McGlashan is one of six New Zealand cricketers who will fly out to Colombo next month for an ODI tri-series, and the wicketkeeper-batsman is making the most of his time in Chennai to acclimatise to the subcontinent.

“We hardly have a spinner a side back home, and here we are up against three quality spinners with fielders breathing down your neck,” says McGlashan. “It’s a huge learning curve for most of us, it’s not something we are accustomed to. In my wicketkeeping, I’ve learnt that I have to stay lower longer here.”

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