Fourth times a charm for NZ Cricket

And so yet another confident contender embraces the role of incumbent Black Caps coach. Congratulations to new NZ mens cricket coach Andy Moles, who will hopefully bring his Warwickshire batting experience to bear profitably on the all too fragile Kiwi batsmen.

I’m not so happy to see Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori has seen fit to offer his public ‘vote of confidence’ in the new coach, contrasting with outgoing coach Bracewell’s dignified silence. Frankly, why bother? The choice of coach is not up to the captain (which Vettori confirms; though he seems to have had a disquieting influence in selections in the past, which reflects weakness in selectors or the NZ Cricket boss). This is for the obvious reason that the coach is chief selector (with power of veto), so picks the captain – so Vettori’s support should be automatic.

What if a captain offers support for some new coaches, but not others? Such an implicit ‘vote of no confidence’ by omission would be viewed very poorly in NZ Cricket HQ I would have thought. So perhaps Vettori should show a little discretion, and offer his congratulations in private to Moles and other future coaches.

The rashness of Vettori’s excited outburst is exposed all too painfully, when the skipper gushes forth with such gems as hoping “Moles wouldn’t be seen as second-best” before enthusing that “He [Moles] wasn’t as big a name as the other candidates and that’s why people assume he was down the list”.

Maybe Dan, the fact that South Africans Mickey Arthur, Graham Ford, and Ozzie Matthew Mott all turned the job down before Moles poked his nose above the surface (sorry – couldn’t resist!), mean that Moles was 4th-best, not second-best, and WAS ‘down the list’.

Pedantic? Perhaps, but it emphasises why skippers should keep their mouths shut when asked about their new boss.

On the more positive side, at least Justin Vaughan has picked a batsman for the new coach. This allows NZ to cut back on specialist coaches – something former coach and current selector Glenn Turner was keen on – while keeping the coach in touch with the needs of the most fragile area of Black Caps performance.

There’s over-coaching at times. I don’t see the need to have a major support staff, and personally don’t believe in having three coaches. A specialist each for batting and bowling is sufficient, and one of them needs to double up as a strategist. I don’t see the need for a sports psychologist or fitness trainer either. The physio can double up as a trainer.

That said, little will improve in the reliability of NZ batting performances until such time as they start preparing a range of wickets – from dry sub-continent grounds at Napier to moist lush strips at Hamilton. It is the lack of dry ‘batsmen friendly’ wickets that has so stunted Kiwi batsmen from building long innings, and character in the quick bowlers striving to get them out!

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One Response to “Fourth times a charm for NZ Cricket”

  1. Deja vu – Kiwi cricket coaching coups « Square Drive Says:

    […] I now feel prophetic, having said when Moles was hired that: “I’m not so happy to see Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori has […]

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