India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Ahmedabad

Greatbatch hopes to compete for long enough

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 3, 2010

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

TMark Greatbatch with Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill ahead of the match, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, tri-series, 4th ODI, Dambulla, August 20, 2010
Mark Greatbatch will want more from his top-order batsmen © Cameraworx/Live Images
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Teams: India | New Zealand

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 4, 2010, 10:21 GMT)

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

Posted by 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!

Posted by 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???

Posted by 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....

Posted by 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....

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 4, 2010, 4:14 GMT)

@ Bang_La. wake up it is morning! :P

Posted by 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.

Posted by Bang_La on (November 3, 2010, 21:54 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

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