England v New Zealand, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley May 23, 2013

NZ to manage Vettori workload

Daniel Vettori's distinguished Test career is not about to be "swept away", in the words of his captain Brendon McCullum, but even as he returns to fitness New Zealand have accepted they must manage the later stages of his career with care after reluctantly ruling him out of the second Test against England at Headingley.

Vettori was enthusiastic enough to jump on a plane and travel around the world to try to bail out New Zealand but not fit enough to play. He has sat on the bench throughout the 2013 IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore and now, eight months after his last New Zealand appearance at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, New Zealand are facing up to the fact that, at 34, his workload will never be the same again.

"It's something we're going to have to discuss down the track," McCullum admitted. "It's going to be a rolling conversation that we need to have with Dan as to what he needs to prioritise with where he's at in his career.

"It would be nice to think that he'd be able to play every game in all three forms but it's not realistic. I certainly see a place for him in the team. It would be silly for us to sweep away 112 Test matches, nearly 400 wickets and six Test centuries.

"He jumped on a plane as soon as he got the phone call. He's a great guy to have around, a tremendous player and he's always keen to help out the NZ cricket team. But he didn't scrub up that well today and the confidence to go into a five-day game with the workload he's had was just a bridge too far.

"It was a very rational decision from all of us on Dan. He wasn't quite confident he'd be able to get through the entire five days and he didn't want to let the team down."

McCullum was honest enough to admit that the wish to protect Vettori's fitness for the Champions Trophy influenced their decision. When it comes to surviving a five-day Test, there is no substitute for match practice, especially if that substitute is in an inactive series at the IPL and a lifestyle based upon lightweight training sessions, internal flights and a room service menu.

"I guess that was one of the things we looked at as well," McCullum said. "In terms of his playing opportunity in this game, would we sacrifice the coming few weeks? That wasn't the right thing for Dan or for us."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nicholas on May 25, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    I think it's that beard that's weighing him down and putting pressure on his extremities.

    Great player; NZ need him fit and firing soon.

  • Matthew on May 24, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @Xolile - a detailed look at the stats will tell you that he's took the majority of his wickets - 66 - against Australia. He's best bowling analysis (in an innings and a match) has also come against the Aussies. His bowling record against the Indians and England is average but far from sloppy and he took two five wicket hauls on his last tour to England and bowled excellently. I would agree that his record against the Saffers is poor however. Looking at the list of the batsmen he's dismissed then Warne and Ashraful are at the top of the list with 9 dismissals each, but then he's taken the wickets of Dravid, Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Martyn 5 times each. I think we can agree that these are hardly poor batsmen.

  • Dean on May 24, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    In all likelihood Vettori will have his eye on the 2015 WC which NZL co host, as being his international swansong. I doubt he will end up playing too many more test matches & I would expect him to retire from the longer fomat within the next 12 mths. Despite sitting on the bench for RCB this year he remains a very capable T20 player & will be well aware of his worth in the various T20 domestic leagues, so taking in to considerations the injuries has has started to pick up recently I don't think he will want to be prolonging his test career & putting at risk the chance to earn the very good sums of money which are available on the T20 curcuit nowadays.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    you could play vettori as a batsman hes better than some of the kiwi batsman and averages higher

  • Prashan on May 24, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    I doubt if Vettori will last more than 2 more years. No doubt he has been a great contribution for NZ cricket. Best part about his absence is that when NZ won in Australia by 7 runs and against SL in Nov last year, Vettori was missing. So his absence will not be a big blow at all for the Kiwis. NZ pace battery is doing great. Bracewell, Boult and Southee have fantastic futures for sure. But lack of a good spinner will be an issue when they tour Asia. They must also address their batting cos other than McCullum, Taylor and Williamson, rest look like vulnerable against the English bowlers. Hopefully Rutherford clicks in this test match.

  • Deon on May 24, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Vettori is ineffective against quality batsmen. His Test bowling average against the Top4 nations (SA, Aus, Eng, Ind) is 43. That's well below par.

  • Pete on May 24, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Yeah, Rally_Windies, I didn't mean saving him for limited overs nonsense, I meant aiming to get him fit enough to play a few more Tests. If he has to spend three days in the field at this stage, it's not good. I have no idea when Vettori will call it a day, but I hope he has a couple more years of Tests in him so NZ can find a batsman or two.

    It's Champions Trophy, by the way - one tournament even more pointless than Champions League.

  • Ali on May 24, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    Batmanian - I do not agree .... I would not save him for Champions League ....

    Tests is the most important thing.........

    If a West Indian heard that they "dropped" Gayle from the Test side to "save" him for ODI and 20/20 ....... we would be saying : "If you can't play Test - then you better not play anything at all" ..

    I cannot believe that people are placing a higher importance on ODI cricket to TEST ...

    I could understand "dropping" someone against Bangladesh and saving them for South Africa or England ......


    this is ridiculous ....

    Vettori - at the very least will help with on field strategies and the IMPORTANT subtle deviations from the original plans that gives results.....

    like the "moving of a fielder a few paces to the right because of the angle of the bowler or the way a particular batsman is playing TODAY "

  • Pete on May 24, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Good idea not risking him. Get Vettori fit and the only things between NZ being competitive with anyone is the mental aspect of days 4 and 5 of a Test. Where Vettori's experience would help.

  • No featured comments at the moment.