ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
World Cup 2011
Vettori grateful for decent break
February 26, 2011
Daniel Vettori is hopeful that the seven-day break until New Zealand's next World Cup match against Zimbabwe will give them a chance to have a fully fit squad to select from. A number of players, including the captain, are carrying injuries following the thumping defeat against Australia.
Scott Styris didn't take the field during Australia's run chase while Vettori also spent time off on the sidelines nursing a hamstring problem. Although New Zealand started with a strong 10-wicket victory against Kenya the seven-wicket hammering by their Trans-Tasman rivals suggested that the tournament will be a struggle even though they should still emerge from the group stage.
Kyle Mills, the team's most experienced pace bowler, and allrounder Jacob Oram were notable omissions against Australia as New Zealand retained the inexperienced pairing of Tim Southee and Hamish Bennett after their success against Kenya. Mills missed the first game with a back injury but was available for selection, while it was confirmed Oram had been left out due to form.
"Kyle [Mills] looks like he is almost fully fit; he probably is fully fit. We've got a long break between now and the next game so I'm pretty confident all 15 guys will be available," Vettori said. "I think Scott has a bruised finger and I'll think we'll find out more on that later on. Unfortunately, I've got ongoing hamstring issues but I should be fine."
However, even if New Zealand are able to draft in some experience from outside the current XI that will largely be for the bowling attack and not the struggling top order which hit 73 for 6 against Australia's pace bowling. It continued a regular trend of batting woes for New Zealand who have struggled for consistent contributions.
The trio of Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor have the potential to dominate any opposition but they have rarely fired as a unit. Taylor's form is a growing concern as he has made 114 runs in six one-day international innings this year with one fifty; he scored the last of his three ODI hundreds back in October 2008.
"Our batting has been part of our game that we haven't been happy with and have to continue to look to rectify it," Vettori said. "We have got very good players in our top four, top five, we just need to find a way to stand up and be counted. That is the same with the ball, as well. We have a good balanced squad here but that doesn't matter unless you perform and you have to get that out of these guys as quickly as possible.
"I you look at their [batting] records over the last year or so, they haven't been too bad. Jesse Ryder's coming off a good hundred a couple of weeks ago against Pakistan," he added. "They have got the skills there, but as a unit we have to lift.
"This 15-man squad is the team for this world cup and we are going to have to find a way to get the results. We have a chance in eight days' time against Zimbabwe."
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