Selection boss Hadlee gives his side a pass mark for the summer

Lynn McConnell

April 3, 2002

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New Zealand selection chairman Sir Richard Hadlee gave his side a pass mark for the summer after their National Bank Test Series-equalling 78-run win over England today.

The win elevated New Zealand to fourth on the international rankings and was achieved without the experience of Chris Cairns, Shane Bond, Dion Nash and Shayne O'Connor while left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori was only required to bowl two overs in the match.

"We competed well all summer," Hadlee said.

"The Australian series was a fantastic effort and to challenge the world Test champions on their own ground was outstanding while we competed well in the one-day series against Australia, although we struggled with South Africa," he said.

A series win over Bangladesh was always going to be a relatively stress-free affair and the comeback to beat England in the one-day series had been another fantastic effort.

And in the Test series against England, the side had shown courage and great commitment, mentally, physically and technically to come back to level the series.

Some risks needed to be taken to achieve that but credit was due to captain Stephen Fleming and the team.

The selection of Chris Harris, Andre Adams and Daryl Tuffey had been because they were players capable of making a difference and they each had a huge impact in the match.

Hadlee explained that after losing Cairns in the first Test, Chris Martin had been first cab off the rank and deserved his chance in the second Test. Tuffey was 12th man in Wellington and had been released to go and bowl in a domestic game. He had taken wickets there and earned his place in the last Test.

Adams was an explosive player who could turn a game and Harris had come in because with Cairns out of the side there was a better chance to include him and help the balance of the side.

Hadlee said the selectors were aware of Chris Drum's impending departure and while it was disappointing he was going his decision was respected.

"He has an outstanding first-class record in New Zealand and has a big heart and will run in all day. We've lost another of our pool of 10 bowlers so we will have to find someone to replace him," he said.

Hadlee was firm on the point that when players are left out of the side they have to earn their places back.

"If any player has got anything he will come back and kick us in the butt and show us were were wrong. That also shows us about the character and temperament of the player concerned," he said.

It had been unfortunate that opener Matt Horne had been left out of the third Test side but he has been given a chance in both one-dayers and Tests in Sharjah and Pakistan. He had a high strike rate in one-day play in New Zealand this year and offered stability.

The selectors were still keen to sort out the opening position but he had been dropped to accommodate another player in the third Test and had been given another opportunity.

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Series/Tournaments: England tour of New Zealand
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