New Zealand in Australia, 2007-08 December 13, 2007

Tait's action under scrutiny by New Zealand



An upbeat Daniel Vettori is not concerned about New Zealand's ability to deal with high-speed bowling © Getty Images

New Zealand have ensured there will be extra focus on Shaun Tait if he plays on his home ground on Friday after refusing to clear his action. The coach John Bracewell would not comment on Tait, who stunned New Zealand in the Twenty20 on Tuesday, after Daniel Vettori said there would be speculation over the validity of his deliveries because of their extreme pace

Tait's shoulder-strong technique, low delivery position and flexible wrist are behind the power that has pushed him to 160kph, but when asked whether he was happy with Tait's action Vettori said: "You ask Braces (John Bracewell) that one.

"I haven't looked at it in-depthly enough. I think people are going to speculate on it whenever someone bowls fast, it's always the first thing people look at. It's up to people that are on a position to comment on it to comment on it."

Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, has made a regular habit of stirring the Australians in previous series and was not talking. A team spokesman said it was a matter for Roshan Mahanama, the ICC match referee.

Mahanama said New Zealand had not approached him. "It has not come up for discussion at all," he said, "so there is no special comment on that."

Cricket Australia's chief executive, James Sutherland, was not alarmed. "This is the first time I've heard Shaun's action called into question and don't regard it as an issue that he needs to worry about," he told AAP. "I've always subscribed to the theory that you shouldn't make a fast bowler angrier than he already is."

If Vettori was tight-lipped on Tait, he did admit that New Zealand had carried over their problem of dealing with pace from South Africa, where they recently lost both Test and one-day series, but suggested it was merely a dip in form. "We have had some problems with it, how we played Dale Steyn," he said. "I can also cite times when we've played pace very well so we've got to find a balance between the two.

"It's almost the case of now we know how Australia are going to attack us, although we did before that first game, we've got a clear vision of what they're going to do. It's up to the guys to counter that."

Vettori said his side was out to prove a point, as well as retain the trophy which they won with a thumping 3-0 result last time. "We have to show them that we can play," he said. "There are some guys in the team that feel they can."

Jacob Oram is one in particular, the batsman taking the attack back to Australia in the Twenty20, although it was too late to affect the result. "It's a nice confident boost for the rest of the team," Vettori said. "Now we've got to make sure we give a guy like him a chance when we're 200 for 3 or 4, where we can come in the last ten overs and make the most of his hitting ability.

"He's set at seven because we fit the extra batsman, in Mathew Sinclair, in there. If we're going really well, he can bat as high as three. If we're going well he could easily go up the order."

Vettori denied the players were losing interest in either one-dayers or the Chappell-Hadlee Series. "In the team we still enjoy the game and in spots around the world you still get very good crowds."

Jenny Thompson is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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