Vettori targets one-day revenge
Daniel Vettori hopes a change of format can bring a change of fortune for New Zealand as the teams switch from Test to one-day mode. The visitors were comprehensively beaten by England in the final Test at Trent Bridge, to lose the series 2-0, but have a much better record in the limited-overs game.
Their first chance for revenge comes in the one-off Twenty20 international at Old Trafford on Friday, which is followed by five ODIs. England won both Twenty20s in New Zealand, but the home side took the ODI series in February 3-1 and are currently ranked third in the world. Four years ago, on their previous tour, New Zealand won the NatWest Series which also involved West Indies.
"It's a higher playing field for us, the way we've played one-dayers for a long time and with our world ranking, we're a lot more confident in that form of the game because it's shorter and we don't have to perform for prolonged periods," Vettori said. "We know we have to pick it up though, because England do have the momentum, and their squad doesn't change much and neither does ours. We beat them convincingly back home and we have to make sure we do that again over here to get anything out of this tour at all."
There will a couple of changes to the New Zealand squad with Scott Styris bolstering the middle order and Mark Gillespie adding back-up to the bowling department. The absence of Jesse Ryder is a huge blow after the impact he had on the series in New Zealand, but in Brendon McCullum there is still plenty of destructive potential at the top of the order.
Despite the back-to-back Test series defeats to England, Vettori is still relishing the challenge of being captain. "I am enjoying it thoroughly," he said. "It is very hard but it is also very rewarding. I wouldn't want to be in the background, I would much rather be in front trying to lead with performances."
New Zealand's next outing is a one-day warm-up match against Worcestershire, at New Road, on Wednesday when they could get the chance to face an in-form Simon Jones, who has taken 13 wickets in his last two Championship matches.