New Zealand in England 2008 May 20, 2008

Vettori heaps praise on Flynn

Cricinfo staff


Daniel Flynn played a vital role in New Zealand's final-day survival at Lord's © Getty Images
 
Jacob Oram took the headlines on the final day at Lord's with his match-saving 101, but with an eye on the future Daniel Flynn's performance was hugely significant for New Zealand. Flynn shared a stand of 132 with Oram and although he only contributed 22, it was his calmness and composure under pressure which stood out.

With Brendon McCullum in hospital New Zealand were rocking, effectively 78 for 5 with 65 overs remaining. While Oram took time to settle, Flynn didn't let the situation get to him and resisted all the England attack could throw at him. There was the swing of Ryan Sidebottom, bounce of Stuart Broad and probing spin out of the footmarks from Monty Panesar. However, for 118 balls, Flynn didn't flinch.

Flynn had the added pressure of having failed in the first innings, bowled round his legs by James Anderson for 9, but by the time he walked off alongside Daniel Vettori as bad light ended the Test there were glimpses of someone with a bright future. His captain was full of praise for the performance, and wants him to make the No. 6 position his own.

"He's got that No. 6 role basically for as long as he wants and if he keeps producing performances like he did first up then it is the start of a good career for him," Vettori told reporters after the match. "He's a new guy in the Test arena and it is always easier to blood guys at that five and six level and as they get experience and mature they can go up to four or three."

Despite the concerns about New Zealand's top order, which was undone twice at Lord's before being bailed by a strong middle, Vettori says there's no need for Flynn to be thinking of moving any higher. "The perfect example is someone like Ricky Ponting, who started at six and slowly moved his way up - we all acknowledge what a good player he has become," he said.

"My preference for him is to stay at No. 6 for quite a long period of time and hopefully, when he's ready, he can sneak up the order."

"The way he acknowledged Jacob was the aggressor, and that he could sit back, play a composed innings, turn over the strike and not take too many risks was a great sign for a guy in his first Test."

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