India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Ahmedabad November 3, 2010

Greatbatch hopes to compete for long enough

ESPNcricinfo staff
13

A batting line-up that includes Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder, Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, and the inexperienced but talented Kane Williamson ought not to be pushovers. No one is sure, though, after the debacle in Bangladesh.

Will the change in format to Test cricket help New Zealand cope better against India? Daniel Vettori thinks so. There will be no run-rate pressure, they can ease themselves in and not have to try to attack the spinners. Mark Greatbatch, the coach, perhaps best presented New Zealand's likely approach: he is hoping that his team can hang in long enough and wait for India to make mistakes.

"Cricket is a funny game. If you compete with a team for long enough, something cracks," Greatbatch said. "It's either you or the other team. That's the challenge for us - to compete with India for a long period of time. Into the fourth day, fifth day, if we are still with them, they are human; they make mistakes like anyone else."

It makes immense sense and the fate of the series could depend on it. Greatbatch, though, was a touch concerned by the lack of Test practice.

"I was saying earlier that we haven't played Test cricket since March against Australia in New Zealand. We really miss playing more Test matches." They will be starting the first Test without any warm-ups and though nearly everyone in the camp has said that it's an unfortunate event but something out of their control.

Greatbatch is hoping that the Bangladesh debacle will act as inspiration for his players. "It's pretty tough. I don't like losing; we don't like losing, it's very tough indeed. And obviously, when you perform badly, home is not so good as far as the media and the public go, and you expect that. But we have got an opportunity to go head to head with a very good side to get some brownie points back.

"At the end of the day, India has got world-class players, a lot of experience. But youth is an amazing thing, I feel. We have got some good experience but we have got some good youth coming through. That is an opportunity for them to show their high skill level, and some of them have got very high skill levels."

Greatbatch has said a few harsh things since Bangladesh that have made the headlines: "They played like d****s," and "I am happy to take two draws [in India]". That was in the immediate aftermath of the Bangladesh fiasco. What does he think now? What went wrong there and what has he told his players?

"I don't think I have to tell them much, to be honest. They have got to play better; there is no doubt about that. Their skills have to better; the mind has to be better. The training the last couple of days has been exceptional. We have got a couple of more days. At the end of the day, the determination to do better is from within and I think you will see a better performance from this New Zealand side."

Not that New Zealand's top-order woes are of recent vintage. Adam Parore, the former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman, put it best when he recently said, "I can tell you that the allrounders and bowlers have long been sick and tired of having to carry the team over the years."

Greatbatch, though, is hopeful that Bangladesh would prove to be an aberration. "The challenge against Harbhajan, Ojha and Mishra is going to be there, but some of our guys have been playing a lot in the subcontinent and we feel we are getting better there, bar Bangladesh. We are trying hard to work out how to play those guys on these surfaces. We performed well under par and we got fried for our standards. There is a real determination to start well here on Thursday."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 5, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    @BangaliNever Your cricketing knowledge sucks Check the last ODI result here : http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/456665.html

    And why your team failed in flat track too! You must know how to hold your bat. ha ha ha. loosers will always cry. btw, whats the Ranking of your team. Are you ashamed to tell that. ha ha ha.

    The secret code for making flat tracks only available for BCCI, isn't it??. :P. If you do not know how to play cricket, just shut up and watch it.

    Just ask someone who have cricketing knowledge that what kind of track you have. A team which was always at the bottom of ICC ranking doesnot deserve any commenst.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 4, 2010, 10:21 GMT

    @ Bang_La . Are you still there? It is 300/2 now.

  • BowlingForever on November 4, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Talk about flat track bullies!!This is so lame, an overrated indian team taking on a 2nd XI NZ on tests.Haha what a joke! And to see people talk about records also of cry baby shewag!!Flat track bullies all the way. Why not have bangladesh come in for NZ and you might actually have a fight? But they might actually win a test with india so be careful. and to top it Dhoni & Co. refuse to use the URDS.hahaha. Even scared that they will lose to NZ if a URDS is there.hahaha. but then again NZ did beat india in the last ODI in Sri lanka as well. no 1 team in cricket all right!

  • Main_Culprit on November 4, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    I think Andy has a point with the stats on population. Eventhough it is irrelevant at the end of the day and cannot be given as an excuse for poor performace, it has an affect on the pool from which a team is choosen. That is, for every 1 Kiwi, India has a pool of 270 to choose from. Can anyone with a bit of sence say it has no advantage???

  • Rukus_NZ on November 4, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    NZ would be about the strength of a IPL team. haha in all seriousness, we have what it takes but we need to lift our game.. Poor selection is sad though, and NZ has not played a test since March.... where India beat Australia just 2 weeks ago... If you look at all the stats, India should win -- but then again this is cricket !! All it takes is a hatrick, or 2-3 decent partnerships to set up a thrilling test game! lets see what happens....

  • Rukus_NZ on November 4, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    NZ would be about the strength of a IPL team. haha in all seriousness, we have what it takes but we need to lift our game.. Poor selection is sad though, and NZ has not played a test since March.... where India beat Australia just 2 weeks ago... If you look at all the stats, India should win -- but then again this is cricket !! All it takes is a hatrick, or 2-3 decent partnerships to set up a thrilling test game! lets see what happens....

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 4, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    @ Bang_La. wake up it is morning! :P

  • Andy-C on November 3, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    @Bangla_Bonner, I think your comment is lame. XI vs. XI yes, but from what do you choose that XI, do some maths. It isn't rocket science that NZ have a smaller population and as a NZer I can tell you that cricket is not a extremely popular sport in this country (like Bangladesh or India), so you combine a lack of interest along with a small population, then you have a VERY SMALL pool of players to select from. In regards to the NZ/Ind. series, NZ will be a walk over for India, but will surely win a few sessions, they will use this as a massive learning curve. NZ don't play a lot of tests, because..they suck, but they will suck more if they continue to lack match experience.

  • Bang_La on November 3, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Still, india will lose this series to NZ, mark my words!

  • Angad11 on November 3, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    @mycomments im sick of hearing this lame excuse of population. if u r talking about cricket and not a war then this is a very lame excuse. first of all, its XI vs XI on the field, secondly if u dont have a huge population to choose from thats not our fault, finally if u still wanna cry - request ICC to conduct matches against equally populated countries.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 5, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    @BangaliNever Your cricketing knowledge sucks Check the last ODI result here : http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/456665.html

    And why your team failed in flat track too! You must know how to hold your bat. ha ha ha. loosers will always cry. btw, whats the Ranking of your team. Are you ashamed to tell that. ha ha ha.

    The secret code for making flat tracks only available for BCCI, isn't it??. :P. If you do not know how to play cricket, just shut up and watch it.

    Just ask someone who have cricketing knowledge that what kind of track you have. A team which was always at the bottom of ICC ranking doesnot deserve any commenst.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 4, 2010, 10:21 GMT

    @ Bang_La . Are you still there? It is 300/2 now.

  • BowlingForever on November 4, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Talk about flat track bullies!!This is so lame, an overrated indian team taking on a 2nd XI NZ on tests.Haha what a joke! And to see people talk about records also of cry baby shewag!!Flat track bullies all the way. Why not have bangladesh come in for NZ and you might actually have a fight? But they might actually win a test with india so be careful. and to top it Dhoni & Co. refuse to use the URDS.hahaha. Even scared that they will lose to NZ if a URDS is there.hahaha. but then again NZ did beat india in the last ODI in Sri lanka as well. no 1 team in cricket all right!

  • Main_Culprit on November 4, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    I think Andy has a point with the stats on population. Eventhough it is irrelevant at the end of the day and cannot be given as an excuse for poor performace, it has an affect on the pool from which a team is choosen. That is, for every 1 Kiwi, India has a pool of 270 to choose from. Can anyone with a bit of sence say it has no advantage???

  • Rukus_NZ on November 4, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    NZ would be about the strength of a IPL team. haha in all seriousness, we have what it takes but we need to lift our game.. Poor selection is sad though, and NZ has not played a test since March.... where India beat Australia just 2 weeks ago... If you look at all the stats, India should win -- but then again this is cricket !! All it takes is a hatrick, or 2-3 decent partnerships to set up a thrilling test game! lets see what happens....

  • Rukus_NZ on November 4, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    NZ would be about the strength of a IPL team. haha in all seriousness, we have what it takes but we need to lift our game.. Poor selection is sad though, and NZ has not played a test since March.... where India beat Australia just 2 weeks ago... If you look at all the stats, India should win -- but then again this is cricket !! All it takes is a hatrick, or 2-3 decent partnerships to set up a thrilling test game! lets see what happens....

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 4, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    @ Bang_La. wake up it is morning! :P

  • Andy-C on November 3, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    @Bangla_Bonner, I think your comment is lame. XI vs. XI yes, but from what do you choose that XI, do some maths. It isn't rocket science that NZ have a smaller population and as a NZer I can tell you that cricket is not a extremely popular sport in this country (like Bangladesh or India), so you combine a lack of interest along with a small population, then you have a VERY SMALL pool of players to select from. In regards to the NZ/Ind. series, NZ will be a walk over for India, but will surely win a few sessions, they will use this as a massive learning curve. NZ don't play a lot of tests, because..they suck, but they will suck more if they continue to lack match experience.

  • Bang_La on November 3, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Still, india will lose this series to NZ, mark my words!

  • Angad11 on November 3, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    @mycomments im sick of hearing this lame excuse of population. if u r talking about cricket and not a war then this is a very lame excuse. first of all, its XI vs XI on the field, secondly if u dont have a huge population to choose from thats not our fault, finally if u still wanna cry - request ICC to conduct matches against equally populated countries.

  • MyComments on November 3, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    I am amazed to see NZ full of talent with population ratio 1:270 against India, and so far matching up against giant India for long time. Indian fans please consider this before comparing 1 to 1 and give due respect to NZ team.

  • Razor88 on November 3, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    AT THE END OF THE DAY-its going to be a Cracker :D. Waiting for Kane's Arrival in India. Out of Sheer Sportsmanship I jus can't wait to see him after all the Hype... I mean He should be Good and he showed everyone that he was.Unfortunately was not able to catch the NZ Vs Bangla matches.But this Series is an Absolute Launching pad For him. The Wickets are Much Flatter than in Bangla.It only Takes Proper Determination,well planned Execution and own Skill to Prosper in Indian Pitches.All the Players from the Kiwis Should Have the skill. It all Comes down to how determined they are n How well they plan. All the best Kane & Co....

  • boris6491 on November 3, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    The following combination: the poor form of the NZ team, the good form of the Indians, the lack of truly capable test batsmen from NZ and a proven fallibility against quality spin bowling as well as a feeble bowling attack led by a player bearing the responsibility of the team on his shoulders leads to my conclusion that NZ will not stand a chance and provide little resistance. The only quality, reliable test cricketer is Vettori and there is no way he can take on the Indians himself. The hype around the likes of Taylor, Ryder et al. has certainly not been justified in test cricket. Moreover, Vettori himself has little backup as a spinner. NZ have always been famous for the plethora of medium pacers in the side. That won't help in India where good quality spin is needed and I just don't rate Jeetan Patel or Nathan McCullum, the 2 spinners employed by NZ currently, as nearly good enough. Tough times ahead for NZ, but everything to gain and nothing to lose.

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  • boris6491 on November 3, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    The following combination: the poor form of the NZ team, the good form of the Indians, the lack of truly capable test batsmen from NZ and a proven fallibility against quality spin bowling as well as a feeble bowling attack led by a player bearing the responsibility of the team on his shoulders leads to my conclusion that NZ will not stand a chance and provide little resistance. The only quality, reliable test cricketer is Vettori and there is no way he can take on the Indians himself. The hype around the likes of Taylor, Ryder et al. has certainly not been justified in test cricket. Moreover, Vettori himself has little backup as a spinner. NZ have always been famous for the plethora of medium pacers in the side. That won't help in India where good quality spin is needed and I just don't rate Jeetan Patel or Nathan McCullum, the 2 spinners employed by NZ currently, as nearly good enough. Tough times ahead for NZ, but everything to gain and nothing to lose.

  • Razor88 on November 3, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    AT THE END OF THE DAY-its going to be a Cracker :D. Waiting for Kane's Arrival in India. Out of Sheer Sportsmanship I jus can't wait to see him after all the Hype... I mean He should be Good and he showed everyone that he was.Unfortunately was not able to catch the NZ Vs Bangla matches.But this Series is an Absolute Launching pad For him. The Wickets are Much Flatter than in Bangla.It only Takes Proper Determination,well planned Execution and own Skill to Prosper in Indian Pitches.All the Players from the Kiwis Should Have the skill. It all Comes down to how determined they are n How well they plan. All the best Kane & Co....

  • MyComments on November 3, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    I am amazed to see NZ full of talent with population ratio 1:270 against India, and so far matching up against giant India for long time. Indian fans please consider this before comparing 1 to 1 and give due respect to NZ team.

  • Angad11 on November 3, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    @mycomments im sick of hearing this lame excuse of population. if u r talking about cricket and not a war then this is a very lame excuse. first of all, its XI vs XI on the field, secondly if u dont have a huge population to choose from thats not our fault, finally if u still wanna cry - request ICC to conduct matches against equally populated countries.

  • Bang_La on November 3, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Still, india will lose this series to NZ, mark my words!

  • Andy-C on November 3, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    @Bangla_Bonner, I think your comment is lame. XI vs. XI yes, but from what do you choose that XI, do some maths. It isn't rocket science that NZ have a smaller population and as a NZer I can tell you that cricket is not a extremely popular sport in this country (like Bangladesh or India), so you combine a lack of interest along with a small population, then you have a VERY SMALL pool of players to select from. In regards to the NZ/Ind. series, NZ will be a walk over for India, but will surely win a few sessions, they will use this as a massive learning curve. NZ don't play a lot of tests, because..they suck, but they will suck more if they continue to lack match experience.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 4, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    @ Bang_La. wake up it is morning! :P

  • Rukus_NZ on November 4, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    NZ would be about the strength of a IPL team. haha in all seriousness, we have what it takes but we need to lift our game.. Poor selection is sad though, and NZ has not played a test since March.... where India beat Australia just 2 weeks ago... If you look at all the stats, India should win -- but then again this is cricket !! All it takes is a hatrick, or 2-3 decent partnerships to set up a thrilling test game! lets see what happens....

  • Rukus_NZ on November 4, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    NZ would be about the strength of a IPL team. haha in all seriousness, we have what it takes but we need to lift our game.. Poor selection is sad though, and NZ has not played a test since March.... where India beat Australia just 2 weeks ago... If you look at all the stats, India should win -- but then again this is cricket !! All it takes is a hatrick, or 2-3 decent partnerships to set up a thrilling test game! lets see what happens....

  • Main_Culprit on November 4, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    I think Andy has a point with the stats on population. Eventhough it is irrelevant at the end of the day and cannot be given as an excuse for poor performace, it has an affect on the pool from which a team is choosen. That is, for every 1 Kiwi, India has a pool of 270 to choose from. Can anyone with a bit of sence say it has no advantage???