England v New Zealand 2008 June 10, 2008

'You can put all the plans in place, but then who applies them' - Bracewell

Cricinfo staff


John Bracewell: 'Once we moved out into the middle and the training wheels came off, so did all the wheels' © Getty Images
 
John Bracewell, New Zealand's coach, has defended the role played by his coaching team during the 2-0 Test series defeat by England.

"It's an interesting debate, and I'm sure it will be debated long and hard by whoever wants to debate it, especially between All Blacks tests. It'll fill in some time," he said. "It's an imponderable. The nature of cricket is not a structured game like other games where you put the play on the whiteboard and you go and play it.

"You get the situation where, this is our gameplan, but do I decide or does he [the batsman] decide whether it's a half-volley or not? Do I decide or does he decide whether he's going to get forward or back?"

Asked about the failure of the New Zealanders to cope with the swing of James Anderson in the first innings at Trent Bridge - Anderson ended up with seven wickets - Bracewell said it wasn't through lack of planning.

"We talked about what we learned from [Kevin] Pietersen's innings, he tried to present a full face and we felt that was the best strategy to play straight, and we had two guys [Aaron Redmond and Brendon McCullum] play across the line in the first 10 overs and have their off pole pulled out of the ground ... you can put all the plans in place, but then who applies them?"

Bracewell added that there was also no reason that the tail failed to offer support to Jacob Oram, who was left unbeaten on 50. "We failed to adapt and support a guy who was striking the ball pretty cleanly," he said. "We knew what our gameplan was, we talked about it, playing a little straighter, not chasing full and wide balls, and supporting in a partnership role. Once we moved out into the middle and the training wheels came off, so did all the wheels. We chased wide half volleys and got sucked into width and failed to support a player who could have got us into a point where we were competitive."

He went on to say that some of the side were not psychologically tough enough. "Some are, some aren't, that's the nature of any team. Some of them are pretty tough nuts. Some of them are learning to be tough, and some of them are just our best players and they have their foibles and weaknesses."