Posts Tagged ‘Black Caps’

Deja vu – Kiwi cricket coaching coups

October 22, 2009

Looks like we are set to repeat the farce of ‘senior players’ in the Black Caps mounting a coup against their coach. Rumblings alleging incumbent Andy Moles has failed to give tactical and technical advice is different to the alleged ‘inflexible people skills’ that led to the coup against 1995 coach (and current selector) Glenn Turner, but the methodology is the same. Grumbling players unable to accept their role in posting low scores with the bat seem hellbent on blaming anyone but themselves. Hopefully NZ Cricket will sort out whether Moles is competent, and if he is, sort out the attitude of the players complaining.

If true, it would explain why skipper Vettori was inducted onto the selection panel shortly after Moles took charge…

Update: I now feel prophetic, having said when Moles was hired that:

“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.”

and you can see why, when Vettori offers such underwhelming endorsement of Moles when the coach’s position is under threat from ‘his’ players. Vettori said:

“I think we have to be,” Vettori said when asked if he would be happy for Moles to continue as coach. “There’s no point me making statements to the contrary.”

Perhaps Vettori should just have said ‘no comment’ or better still, ‘It’s not my place to comment publicly on my coach’. Hmmm, Dan?

P.S. If McCullum turns out to be one of the plotters, can we now have Matt Sinclair replace him? Sinclair just got Domestic Player of the Year. Again. McCullum’s last award was a 14 ball duck, leading his team to a loss.

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Hide yer shame with yer Black Caps

September 19, 2009

I know it’s only a warm-up to a knockout tournament, but losing to the Warriors shows just how weak NZ are in cricket right now. Granted, Vettori took a rest (but had a capable sub in Jeetan Patel) as did Shane Bond, which is odd, given Bond “seemed tired” after just 7 overs according to Cricinfo ball-by-ball commentary in the last ODI he played against India in Sri Lanka. Surely Bond could have done with more warmup in African conditions, and learn to mesh with proven opening pace bowler (in SA) Darryl Tuffey (who took 3 wickets).
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Black Craps…literally

August 22, 2009

Sorry to lower the tone, but the rumbing bellies and the performance by NZ in Sri Lanka has been rather dismal.

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Black Cap 2nd test tweaks

March 22, 2009

Former Black Caps wicket-keeper Adam Parore reckons NZ need to finesse their middle order batting lineup to have a chance in the 2 remaining tests, now India have won the first test. Ryder at 5 and McCullum at 6 is Parore’s solution to the problem he correctly identifies as ‘dodging the new ball but having time to make centuries’.

However, having your best batsmen ‘dodge the new ball’ only works if you don’t start with 3 inexperienced batsmen, as NZ just did to their chagrin. Better to bracket new and experienced batsmen so the departing batter gets replaced by a similar one. The experienced players are Ryder, McCullum and Taylor; the newbies McIntosh, Guptill and Flynn (kind-of).

For example, open with Ryder and McIntosh, and bracket McCullum & Guptill at 3/4, and Taylor & Flynn at 5/6. So – if McIntosh is out, bring in Guptill, but if Ryder drops, bring in McCullum; Taylor replaces McCullum, while Flynn comes in after Guptill falls. That way, you always have a harder hitting older batsman paired with a newbie, to stabilise things, and (hopefully) avoid a rapid rout of the top order, nullifying Parore’s effect of putting the best batsmen in the middle order to ‘protect them’ from the new ball.

That said, the case is stronger than ever for ‘Skippy’ Sinclair to get a bat in the last 2 tests. And I remain unconvinced about James Franklin’s conversion from fast-medium left-arm pace bowler to batting allrounder with medium-fast bowling. He has not shone.

But if poor bowling prizes are given out, surely all three spots on the podium would go to Kyle Mills? He has truly lived up to his test ranking of 41st in the world. Good against teams like Bangladesh & West Indies, Mills is exposed every time against good sides like Australia (Chappell-Hadlee series) and India. Swap him for a genuine quick bowler, like Wellington’s Mark Gillespie, who has been given treatment little better than Sinclair by the selectors.

So, my lineup for the last 2 tests?

  • Opening pair – Jesse Ryder & Martin Guptill
  • first drop – Brendon McCullum & Matthew Sinclair
  • 2nd drop – Ross Taylor & Daniel Flynn
  • allrounder – drop Franklin for the evergreen Chris Harris! 🙂 (I know, the ICL farce). Okay, chuck Tim McIntosh in to open with Ryder, and drop Guptill, Sinclair and Flynn 1 bracket down each.
  • bowlers – Dan Vettori, Mark Gillespie (instead of Mills), Iain O’Brien and Chris Martin.

That gives 4 pace bowlers (Martin, O’Brien, Gillespie and Ryder), spinner Vettori, and I reckon if Harry could be picked, he would do quite well on these flat wickets – it’s all about guile. All while retaining 6 genuine specialist batsmen.

But we’ll see…

Nats to ban Black Caps Zimbabwe tour?

February 16, 2009

Woohoo! Good news, from the National government, of all people. Prime Minister John Key has strongly hinted that the Nats will ‘order’ the Black Caps to not tour Zimbabwe this July. If so, this would let NZ Cricket off the hook for potentially millions in default fees, under ICC rules that block a nation cancelling a tour for political reasons. Essentially, the ICC recognise that if the NZ government ban the Kiwi cricketers from touring Mugabe’s land, then the decision is taken out of the hands of NZ Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan.

This can only help Zimbabwe’s quest for human rights; despot Mugabe is a known cricket fan, so it will hopefully send him a clear message that respecting human rights in Zimbabwe is more important to the world than a cricket tour (much as we like the latter).

Crumpled Black Caps

February 16, 2009

Vettori is right to be peeved – his team performed poorly chasing down 150 in last night’s T20 Sydney match. But there was always doubt about Elliot’s ability to accelerate above ODI scoring pace of 6 an over, so if they wanted to win perhaps they should have kept Ross Taylor (maybe with a runner for his hamstring twinge).

The Chappell-Hadlee series draw reflects the balanced teams – Oz has slumped and NZ risen to a similar level, though those pesky Ozzies are already bouncing back up the skill ladder. So are NZ, but we are still hamstrung by bizzarre selections like repeat failures Peter Fulton and Craig Cumming. Hopefully the selectors have now got the message… though it appears not, with the feeble Ian Butler reselected for the T20 match. Sigh.

Fourth times a charm for NZ Cricket

November 26, 2008

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.

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Brace yourself for it…

December 21, 2007

… the Kiwis get spanked again by the Ozzies! Yes folks, it was another drubbing at the hands of ‘punter’ Ponting (134no). View the misery on the Cricinfo scorecard or summary bulletin.

At least Scott Styris dragged himself back from a small form slump on the South African and Australian tours, to punch 75 quickly. Nice to see Mark Gillespie plunder a few quick runs with the bat too, as revenge for his expensive, though useful, bowling.

Back home, the knives seem to be sharpening for the coach, John Bracewell, from journos and the Beige Brigade. That is a little unfortunate, as despite some blunders, ‘braces’ is far better in my view than lamentable former coach Steve Rixon, who recently made a hamfisted effort to finesse his way back into the Kiwi coaching job. While a blind badger could have accurately made the same predictions as Rixon, the Ozzie had clearly paid too much attention to Canterbiury (and now Wallaby) coach Robbie Deans in the latter’s efforts to pry retained All Black coach Graham Henry from his job. Now Deans gave a PR job to watch 🙂

Anyway, I hope NZ coach and selectors take the Bangladesh tour opportunity to build a strong confident Black Cap squad based around experienced players, not U-19 emigres that catch selector Hadlee’s eye as ‘the next Tendulkar’.

Giving Gillespie, Martin, and Michael Mason a chance to form a quick bowling team with Oram would be good (anyone note Mills failed again to break through the Oz lineup), while Jeetan Patel has a chance to show his mettle against players who know spin intimately. Most of all though, a solid top-order batting line up must be worked on… Good luck to ’em!