June 12, 2008

Twenty20 here we come

New Zealand have been a more successful one-day side than England in recent times. Now's our chance to make up for the loss in the Test series



New Zealand's IPL players, like McCullum and Styris will need to bring their experiences to bear © Getty Images

It's good to be able to move on quickly to the Twenty20 and one-day internationals after the Test series ended badly for us. I've spent plenty of time thinking about what went wrong in the Tests and, as hard as losses are to swallow, we need to admit we were outplayed by a better side. It is important that we use the hurt and disappointment we've felt to develop our knowledge for when we play our next Tests, against Bangladesh and Australia later this year.

Equally, we know that New Zealand have been a very good one-day side for quite some time, and the arrival of Scott Styris and Mark Gillespie has brought a fresh element to the team. Unlike the other IPL players in our team, Scott spent the full tournament with Hyderabad, so he adds a new dimension and knowledge base to the camp ahead of our Twenty20 match against England on Friday.

Scott, though, has lost his title as the team's fittest player - something the players are extremely happy about. Our trainer has designed a fitness test and James Marshall smashed Scott's record. There are a few guys that might push James close, though I won't be one of them.

I find with Twenty20 that most of the basic principles still apply. For instance, it would be easy to think that if you face two dot balls, you need to hit the next one for four, when in fact it's not the end of the world. Twenty overs is still a long time to bat. I think the tactics of Twenty20 will evolve as there is no proven right-way-to-play as yet.

We've focused a lot on our fielding this week at training. In Test cricket the emphasis on fielding doesn't need to be as great, as there is not the same level of urgency, unless there is a tight run-chase with time running out. In one-day cricket our fielding performance might win us a game. This week we've spent a lot of time getting used to catching the white Kookaburra ball, which has a different feel to the Duke ball.

 
 
It would not be a good idea to show the Holland-Italy Euro 2008 game on our bus trips. Daniel Vettori is passionate about his Italian heritage and he took Italy's loss pretty badly
 

I'm not sure where I'll be batting at Old Trafford in the Twenty20 match but I'm looking forward to it. It's hard to pinpoint why we've been more successful than England in the one-day cricket in recent times. What we do know is, the shorter the format, the closer the teams come together. Sometimes one or two performances can make the difference between winning or losing, whereas in Tests it usually takes four or five players to perform well.

Being around for Euro 2008 has been great and it would have been even better if England were playing. I'm especially pleased after the two teams I drew in our Euro 2008 sweepstake, Sweden and Croatia, both won their opening games. I can see us watching lots of soccer games for the rest of the tournament. I wouldn't mind if James - our entertainment man - showed a few replays on our bus trips. His efforts have been so good since the last report, I'm worried he might have peaked early. It would not be a good idea to show the Holland-Italy game, though, as Daniel Vettori is passionate about his Italian heritage and soccer and took Italy's loss pretty badly.

Also, Jamie How, my Central Districts team mate, finally got landed with a tour duty. He's replaced Chris Martin looking after our tour finances, which means he is responsible for handing out the daily meal allowances.

Apart from cricket and soccer, the other thing to take up time has been watching Big Brother on television. It's into about its eighth year over here and the boys are really hooked on it. Personally, I want Mikey to win, and the next person we all of us want to see kicked off is Alexandra. I'll report back on the next few episodes the next week.

New Zealand middle-order batsman Ross Taylor's diaries will appear on Cricinfo through the England series. Taylor spoke to Andrew McLean, an expatriate cricket writer based in London