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Former New Zealand batsman and captain

Why can't New Zealand score more hundreds?

Misguided coaching, bowling-friendly conditions and players' attitudes haven't helped

Martin Crowe

September 13, 2012

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Kane Williamson drives through the off side, India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Hyderabad, 4th day, August 26, 2012
Kane Williamson has an appetite for hundreds, but he needs to raise his ratio in Test cricket © AFP

In Wisden and on ESPNcricinfo, it clearly shows that the greatest century-makers in Test cricket are the Indians and the Australians. The West Indians have a representative in the top ten in Brian Lara, and recently, through Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, the South Africans and Sri Lankans are acknowledged right up there alongside the best. No other country is represented in the 30-plus century club.

The Pakistanis' best is Inzamam-ul-Haq, on 25 hundreds, while England's most prolific are the old-timers Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott, all on 22. But as we know, Alastair Cook, on 20 currently, will surely smash that and climb into the top echelon.

New Zealand is the only one of the eight main Test-playing nations not to have a player score over 20 hundreds; their highest is 17, while 12 is the next best. In fact, only three players are in double figures in terms of century count. Add to that the fact that New Zealand is the only established nation that's yet to post a triple-century, coming agonisingly close with a 299, when yours truly had a brain fade.

So why have New Zealand been so poor compared to the rest, and why is it seemingly getting worse? As each series goes by, New Zealand give the impression they won't improve anytime soon on this front.

To me, the art of scoring a hundred is to keep it dead simple: bat in tens. Greg Chappell quietly said this to me once, and it resonated loud and clear. By scoring in small incremental blocks of ten runs at a time, I was able to maintain concentration, not worry at all about the nineties (it was only another block of ten), and ultimately carry on a lot longer after the century milestone was reached.

I believe for Test teams to truly compete, they need at least two players consistently scoring hundreds every three to four Tests. From 1985-94 I managed 16 hundreds in 50 consecutive Tests (following my first relatively unproductive 20-Test apprenticeship and before a limp seven-Test finish), so it can be done, but it can't be done alone. With John Wright, John Reid and Andrew Jones playing well for a period, I was in really good company, and it proved partnerships mean everything. In contrast, when Lara was in full flight, he did it alone, and so West Indies began their dreadful slide.

To try to understand why New Zealand have underachieved in consistently scoring Test hundreds, it needs to be acknowledged that this is a rugby-mad country, and mostly all major grounds and stadiums are geared for the All Blacks to win under lights.

Even with the advent of portable pitches, batting in New Zealand has always been regarded a challenge for most batsmen - hosts and visitors alike - as the pitches, coupled with English-type weather, have made run scoring rather difficult at times. Ask Garry Sobers, Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar, to name a few over the decades, and they will confirm this.

Some would say that the hosts should be used to the conditions and ought to be able to develop the appropriate game to prosper. I agree, and my personal adjustment was to shorten my backlift significantly so I could adjust better to the inconsistent bounce and movement, swing or seam. By shortening my backlift I scored less quickly but managed to stay at the crease longer. This later also helped combat reverse swing.

Graph: Frequency of Test hundreds by batsmen of leading Test nations since 1986
During Martin Crowe's peak years (1985-1992), New Zealand's batsmen averaged a century every 20 innings, among the best during that period; overall and since 2006, they've averaged 30 innings per century, easily the poorest among the top teams. Click for larger © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Through the last century, New Zealand batsmen played only about five or six Tests a year, about half of those on bowler-friendly pitches at home. For a long time, getting into a habit of scoring big hundreds didn't come about because of limited opportunities, to add to the poor conditions for batting.

However, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, through the exposure gained by the likes of Glenn Turner, Richard Hadlee, Geoff Howarth and John Wright, who all became full-time professionals and played regular county cricket, the new doctrine was to "up performance" and take on the world. This included players being selected and expected to score big hundreds and take five-wicket hauls - which Hadlee excelled at. Contributing to team victories became a necessary goal for the individual within the team ethos, and this requirement was passed down sternly and clearly to youngsters entering the dressing room. Standards were set high. I became addicted to the mantra of "We are better than they are."

Because of my personal drive and obsession with scoring Test hundreds through the 1980s, as New Zealand got better and better, I felt responsible for passing the baton to new players when we entered the 1990s, post-Hadlee, and so I approached Stephen Fleming and Nathan Astle with confidence that they would carry it on.

Instead, I struck an odd resistance. The new breed simply didn't feel the need to set the goal of scoring hundreds for the team. Of course, they wanted to score them, but they didn't want that "extra pressure" of being seen to seek them. Hadlee and I had talked openly and publicly about setting and chasing goals; the downside was that it seemed to turn others off. These new players chose to play for the team and the occasion, to be ultimate team men and not seek individual milestones. It sounded admirable, and it was, but on the other hand the team needed big hundreds and it needed them consistently.

In his defence, Fleming had just became New Zealand captain at age 23, and his sights had been dramatically adjusted from being a batsman learning the craft of succeeding at the highest level to leading a young, impressionable and highly talented team. Overnight his focus had switched to a new responsibility.

And leadership he showed, so much so that he became New Zealand's greatest captain and man manager of all time. He instilled in his team the mantra called BTB (Better than Before), a reference to topping the efforts of the '80s. And so a new attitude was born.

Fleming's team played well for a good period, rising to No. 3 in the world in 2001-02, but they couldn't sustain it. The hundreds weren't there often enough, and gradually a pattern emerged. The conversion rate from fifties to hundreds got worse. Fleming himself, despite his strong hand at the helm, secured a return of only nine hundreds and 46 fifties in 111 Tests. He was way too good to finish with numbers like those. Yet, contrastingly, while not able to convert often enough, he was able to play some extraordinary innings in becoming the only New Zealander to post three Test double-hundreds.

During this time, in 1998, the New Zealand board set up an academy in Lincoln. Coaches and professors from Victoria were flown in. But any hope that the next generation would be given assistance and expertise on how to post world-class scores soon fell apart. It was an outstanding disaster.

Biomechanics became the new buzzword for New Zealand's finest batting talent. The theory passed on was that hand speed and power efficiency "through the shot" was everything. Out the window went footwork, body position, soft hands and hitting the ball late below the eyes. In came heavier bats, high backlifts, minimal footwork and going hard at the ball.

Most frequent century makers in Tests (Qual: 20 hundreds)
Batsman Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s Inngs per 100
Don Bradman 80 6996 99.94 29/ 13 2.76
Jacques Kallis 262 12,641 56.94 43/ 55 6.09
Matthew Hayden 184 8625 50.73 30/ 29 6.13
Garry Sobers 160 8032 57.78 26/ 30 6.15
Sachin Tendulkar 314 15,533 55.08 51/ 65 6.16
Greg Chappell 151 7110 53.86 24/ 31 6.29
Sunil Gavaskar 214 10,122 51.12 34/ 45 6.29
Kumar Sangakkara 189 9872 56.73 30/ 39 6.30
Wally Hammond 140 7249 58.45 22/ 24 6.36
Mohammad Yousuf 156 7530 52.29 24/ 33 6.50

Most frequent century-makers in Tests for New Zealand (Qualification: six hundreds)
Batsman Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s Inngs per 100
John Reid 31 1296 46.28 6/ 2 5.17
Martin Crowe 131 5444 45.36 17/ 18 7.71
Glenn Turner 73 2991 44.64 7/ 14 10.43
Andrew Jones 74 2922 44.27 7/ 11 10.57
Ross Taylor 75 3025 42.60 7/ 16 10.71
John Wright 148 5334 37.82 12/ 23 12.33
Nathan Astle 137 4702 37.02 11/ 24 12.45
Geoff Howarth 83 2531 32.44 6/ 11 13.83

Batting stats for each team between 1985 and 1992, and since Jan 2006
Team '85-'92 - Tests/ ave 100s/ 50s 50/100 ratio 2006 onwards-Tests/ ave 100s/ 50s 50/100 ratio
India 53/ 32.84 50/ 107 2.14 74/ 35.89 88/ 209 2.38
New Zealand 52/ 30.24 44/ 96 2.18 51/ 27.27 32/ 110 3.44
England 77/ 29.25 65/ 148 2.28 84/ 35.08 101/ 196 1.94
Australia 69/ 32.81 67/ 156 2.33 68/ 37.08 86/ 182 2.12
Pakistan 54/ 31.11 38/ 104 2.74 55/ 32.11 51/ 136 2.67
Sri Lanka 30/ 26.89 20/ 58 2.90 59/ 35.99 74/ 132 1.78
West Indies 56/ 30.09 42/ 122 2.90 60/ 28.20 46/ 139 3.02
South Africa 4/ 28.22 3/ 10 3.33 64/ 36.52 81/ 141 1.74

The net result was faster strike rates and shorter stays at the crease. For a whole decade this theory was passed down to the next line of coaches, and from them to young players, who were too frightened to disregard the instructions thrust at them.

One who did ignore the tripe being coached was Ross Taylor. They say his natural stance and backlift are still the same as they were when he was playing school first-XI matches. He followed his own natural instincts and method, and didn't buy the wares of con artists selling their unproven bullshit to unsuspecting victims.

Dozens of talented batsmen were tried through this crazy ten-year period, including Craig Cumming, Matthew Bell, Michael Papps, Gary Stead, Craig Spearman, Jamie How, Mathew Sinclair, Hamish and James Marshall, Lou Vincent, Aaron Redmond, Peter Ingram, Tim McIntosh, Peter Fulton and others. One player who did well during this time came from a background of bowling spin and batting No. 11 - Mark Richardson. He missed the biomechanics batting clinic and thankfully became one of New Zealand's finest opening batsmen from sheer self-sufficiency and attitude.

That was then, this is now. New Zealand Cricket still hasn't settled on a basic batting method to adopt. The proper coaching methods must be reintroduced and embraced at all levels, first-class cricket must be reinstated as the priority format, and batsmen need to clearly set the goal that hundreds matter.

I believe there is a possibility that a present-day player or two will hopefully pick up the baton and run with it. That potential may well lie with Kane Williamson and Taylor, both of whom I regard highly as batsmen, especially as century-makers.

As the story goes, Williamson, before he left school, had notched up 40 hundreds in all forms at all levels. That's mighty impressive, suggesting he has an insatiable appetite for the ton, knows how to get it and wants more. So far in his 16 Tests he has scored two, which is a steady start, given he is 22. It's also time for the apprentice to become the master over the next phase and increase his ratio from one every eight Tests to one every four. He simply has to set his goal and his stall and get it done. No more pussyfooting around the crease, messing with backlifts and techniques: he must settle, aim and fire.

Taylor, on the other hand, has seven hundreds from 41 Tests, one every six Tests. He does possess the ability to do a Sehwag and rip out a triple-ton one day. As captain, he must demand more of the same of what we saw from him in the recent Bangalore Test. In that match he came out swinging, and the aggression paid off in the first innings. New Zealand need him to lead the way in the next period.

Taylor and Williamson can show the likes of Martin Guptill and the next generation how setting a big goal, then scoring a big hundred is not only helpful to a team's cause but is also personally satisfying and universally accepted.

Just ask Sachin.

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late '80s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

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Posted by ygkd on (September 15, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

If I were to recommend one batting instructional video it would be Martin Crowe's. Hundreds matter, not just cameos. @Reptoslicer & @Selassie-I unfortunately limited overs is de rigeur in Australia too. My experience with U12 cricket is one where the maximum score allowed is 20 retd. Next level its usually 30 & then 50. You can be recognised as one of the best young bats in the entire region and not have made a ton due to such restrictions. Never seen a 2-dayer in juniors at any district or regional level. Two-dayers in seniors struggle for positioning beside 50 & 20 over stuff. As for schools cricket, my experience is outside the posh private (non-Government) schools it is generally not seriously regarded here as it is a modified extreme-short-form with the emphasis on participation. Even inside the private school leagues it may not be as strong as it once was. The old ways are going and some are more worried about ball-sports-related injuries than obesity (which Aust leads world in).

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (September 14, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

New Zealanders are mostly good gentlemen... People like Fleming are really legends... That's what matters to me, not what they score... Cricket is always a gentleman's game. And they have good fast bowlers all the time... Statistics, wins, rankings are just so funny... As a Sri Lankan, I always respect New Zealand team...

Posted by dinosaurus on (September 14, 2012, 12:07 GMT)


New Zealand is very different to Australia! Martin's points are very valid. Australian rugby players used to play on cricket grounds, while it is just the reverse in terms of cricketers playing on rugby fields in NZ. Interestingly, NZ is even more dominant over the long term in rugby than Oz is in cricket. Then the weather is totally different. But I don't think it would be wise to have two island teams from NZ in a joint cricket competition with Oz. Maybe the Kiwis should have come in with us in 1901!

Posted by ScottyDogKiwi on (September 14, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

Great article. The best stat is Bradman's 2.67 innings per century vs next best Kallis at 6.09. The gulf in class between Bradman and the rest is best demonstrated here. The debate on the batsmen ever should be settled on these stats alone.

Posted by bored_iam on (September 14, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

Wow! One of the better ones on Cricinfo in awhile!

Posted by   on (September 14, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

i think this is an extremely well thought out and fleshed out article...Martin Crowe's career promised so much more before it was cruelly cut short by injuries. I honestly wish we see more of him in a coaching capacity either for New Zealand or maybe a role in the IPL or something. India could utilize someone of his caliber as well given the reluctance our batting greats have to coaching young Indian batsmen

Posted by Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on (September 14, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

Martin Crowe - One of the greatest thinkers of the modern game and one of the best batsmen of 90's; at times I wonder why Cricket NZ don't utilize his services properly. This is very well written; only if people paid proper heed to it. Btw there's something about these cousins; Russel Crowe is one of my favourite actors, while Martin is one of favourite batsmen of all time!

Posted by SixFourOut on (September 14, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

Great article from a world class batsman and brilliant cricket mind. As an Aussie, I always had the greatest respect for Martin Crowe and believe him to be a better captain then the overrated Fleming was.......................The problem with the Kiwis is their good players retire at 30, many of their best players never get selected (Ryder, De Boorder, Franklin) and they don't have the killer instinct to win............They just get to easily complacent with a good 35 or a solid 40 and get out. You must score hundreds and Crowe is telling you how, so bloody well listen. You even have some real Talent. I rate Ryder, Taylor, Guptil, Williamson and Boult.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

Great article, mad respect.

Posted by sangan3 on (September 13, 2012, 21:44 GMT)

I've said it once and i'll say it again: get a north and south island team into the Australia cricket league and the best New Zealand batsman will rise to the top.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

Martin Crowe is so right... particularly the high back lift, no foot work and just bash the ball sort of cricket. Bio-mechanics and second rated coaches from overseas has killed a whole heap of good NZ Cricketers. The practice is still in progress, all you need to do is pay a visit to centers such as Wellington and see what is being taught to young kids. They are now told to clear the front leg, hold the bat over the shoulder and smash the ball. Wonder how this is going to work in the larger scheme of things? This sort of work is good for no.9, no.10 and no.11 who are expected to contribute a quick 20 odd runs in 10 balls but not for the top order.

Posted by Alexk400 on (September 13, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

Martin crowe , please write only on NZ and Aus players pls. You know the domain well compared to writing about sachin or india. Nz has same physical setup as aussies. It is just that mental conditioning and competition lacking for NZ. They fight well inf ielding and catching and almost every game looks like they over achieved. But in reality their batsman lacks belief. When ryder plays this nz team more belief. That shows they need atleast one Strong batsman to lead off. WIlliamson is grinder , no need to putt too much pressure on him. Taylor is hit or miss. They need aggressive opener. Mccullum is not it.

Posted by surabh7 on (September 13, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

What a piece!! Really, Crowe is a phenomenal writer..

Posted by urprashant on (September 13, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

It is an privilege to read Martin Crowe, certainly the greatest batsman New Zealand ever produced. These great players can actually feel cricket, that's why their writings are so logical and easily comprehensible. Cricinfo should publish more of these former great players articles rather than those writers who lack depth and analyse things based on their prejudices.

Posted by shiva89 on (September 13, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

article was full of life. stats were amazing. NZ is way behind other countries in terms of centuries or even averages. i dont know, but i think kiwis consider an overall average of 30+ as good. and likes to invest more on 25+ avgs. that is defensive. other countries invests time and energy in 30+ avg holders and considers 40+ as good and acceptable. if kiwi scores more, they ll increase their avgs. its also true that a no. of batsmen (who eventually failed) have been tried like spearman, bell, papps, mcintosh, fulton etc. but the only stable players that comes in my mind are the best unit of late 90's (and early 2000s)... consisting astle, fleming, mcmillan, styris, cairns, harris, vettori, bond, mills, oram, richardson. that was a dream kiwi team. able to defeat anyone on any pitch and in any circumstance. kiwi is surely sliding down like once WI and now Aussies.

Posted by sk12 on (September 13, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

@ Sir_Francis - The 1 in 6 should be 100 per innings, not 100 per matches.

Posted by Gizza on (September 13, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Awesome article Martin. Never read a cricketer writing about themselves in terms of statistics like this. It was very left field but very insightful. Hopefully the current crop of Kiwi batsmen can somehow learn the art of converting 50's into 100''s in all forms but most importantly Test cricket.

Posted by ozwriter on (September 13, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

another insightful and enjoyable article. i really enjoy martin crowe's writing style. refreshing, original and honest.

Posted by Selassie-I on (September 13, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

@reptoslicer unfortunatly limited overs is played at schoolboy level everywhere in the UK I think. It's difficult for kids(and the adults) to commit to play for 2 days or more. I have heard about 2 day matches at SB level in Aus, but they're all sports nuts over there. Unfortunatley, you have to pay to go to a private school in the UK to even play cricket at school now. The state schools don't play much sport, football at best.. the system currently doesn't seem to prize excersise or fitness very highly, unlike the antipodians.

Posted by khanc on (September 13, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Akram has said Martin Crowe was the best player of reverse swing he ever saw. Here Crowe alludes to this - low backlift and NZ conditions.

Posted by Selassie-I on (September 13, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Good article, backup up with figures. I'm always a fan of cricketer written analysis.(As well as pundits)

Posted by nthuq on (September 13, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

I've always liked the New Zealand team and back them to do better than their numbers suggest. With their growing bowling attack, they're really only a few good innings from their batsmen regularly from challenging, if not winning against every other team there is. Lovely seeing such insight - hope some of it gets passed on.

Posted by dariuscorny on (September 13, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

i know this article is about batsmen NZ have,but still cannot stop myself from saying that i have been hugely impressed by that young left arm fast Trent Boult,he is some talent,if NZ put some price on their wickets Im sure they can be good test team as McCullum ,Taylor,Ryder,Guptill,Williamson are very good players,its just they dont recognise their abilty,if they can do that,i can see them in top notch.look at Eng they dont hv any star in their team except KP,but because of basic traditional cricket they are a top test team,but as i see NZ have some serious talent,its just they recognise it

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 13, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

May be, i noted one thing with the NZ batsmen - Especially Guptill. Playing carefully doesn't mean that should defend each and everything that comes down your way. He defends almost for 1.5 sessions to score a slow 40-60 and then perishes to a lofted shot most times. Rotating strike every over, punishing the bad balls always and not getting bogged down anytime during the innings should be the idea. Easier said than done but that defines the art of building an innings. The best examople i would mention will be - Kallis and Amla in last 2-3 years. Their batting would teach loads of lessons to the observers.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

Martin, how come you missed the consistent Kiwi batsman Bev Congdon in your list? He had 7 hundreds and 19 fifties from 61 tests with 176 as his highest. Bev was a difficult bloke to dislodge once he was set.

By your qualification of minimum 6 centuries, Bev should have made the list with a higher innings per 100 than Geoff..

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Over the past 4-5 years, the most solid new zealand batsman in tests has been daniel vettori....he was the captain, he had to bat his team to a formidable total, he had to send down 40+ overs every test match, he was indeed dan 'the man'. When your number 8 batsman is the most consistent one in tests, it is sure something to be worried about. never mind teaching the guys new techniques, make sure they learn the importance of staying at the wicket for long periods of time.

Posted by reptoslicer on (September 13, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

In NZ our kids are brought up with cricket in a format where the emphasis is on hitting the ball hard to score as many runs as you can in the few overs you face. Kids under 10 generally only get to face about 18 balls in club games. from 11 to 13 they are playing limited over cricket formats of 28 or 40 overs where again the focus is on scoring quickly. To me this doesn't seem to be the way to develop good cricket players.

Martin, was this the same basic format when you were a young cricketer? What format do they play in the other major cricket playing countries?

Posted by 1_234 on (September 13, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

It would be interesting also to divide centuries of these players (in the list) between home ground and away. Can someone provide such a list?

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@Sir_Francis: You sure a WIan. His criteria is 20 test centuries and he mentioned top 10 who took minimum innings per test hundred (which is around 6 for most). Chanderpaul has made 25 centuries in huge 247 innings. Almost 10 innings per hundred.

Posted by Tiberius on (September 13, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

Martin: why don't you become New Zealand's batting coach? I 'd vote for you. You're were a great batsman and I believe you really do know what you're talking about.

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (September 13, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

I agree with Crowe about Williamson, that guy looks like he can get big scores. The guy I am interested in is Guptill, he shows that he has patience, but he dosn't have enough, so you see him getting out in 40s and early 50s. Someone should teach him to be a little more patient, and of course better at bating (which applies to each KIWI batsman actually). Mc Cullum and Ross Taylor, are amazing scorers, they should believe and know that they are important players.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Very very well written article. Must read for Test Cricket pundits

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

I read somewhere that Kane Williamson said after his long innings in the first test against India that NZers are always taught to play spin bowlers a certain way - including use of that sweep shot. He noticed that the Indians didn't play spin bowlers that way and so he altered his game. Most of the others didn't (Daniel Flynn got out to the same sweep shot 3 out of 4 innings - why didn't he just put the shot away?) and got out. Kane changed and found he could stay in and then score some runs. So what you say Martin is probably right about him.

That of course, and Ross Taylor's fantastic positive innings in the 2nd test. These guys really are the future of NZ batting, but wouldn't it be great to have 6 of them in the line-up instead of 2?

Posted by Sir_Francis on (September 13, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Disappointed Chanderpaul is completely forgotten about again. Martin Crowe should have remembered. 25 hundreds in 144 Tests meets the 1 in 6 criteria.

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 13, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Well put. NZ most times had been a bowling team who can surprise sometimes very rartely with batting. in the middle period with Cairns and McMillan, they managed to score quickly and the tail wagged like anything and did offer good challenge and with rise of Bond, they even rose to top half but ever since the ICL and the retirement of big guns, they are not the same team. The current team has lots of guys with huge potential like Guptill, Flynn, Kane, Brownlie who look capable of reaching the three figure mark if they can put more value on their wicket and concentrate more on the temperament factors. Still, i can see better future for NZ as they got all the talent and just need proper nurturing. I somehow feel they are going to miss Wright as coach.

Posted by KishorKumar25 on (September 13, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

Good to see Martin writing columns here regularly. Keep going Martin.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

to be honest a part of it is the crap fields we grow up on i mean yip its nice and grassy but most the time too grassy, so we dont get value for our shots. if you look and think about it our top two batters are sloggers (decent sloggers) but still try go over the top as much as possible so its almost a force of habit to go for the big 1 when its not on and hold out

Posted by Faridoon on (September 13, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

So you're saying the the basic batting ideology and techniques were thrown out the window at some point and replaced with scientific drool about bat speed efficiency etc.

That's interesting. I didn't know that about Nz cricket. Batting should always be taught with traditional principles that revolve around footwork, judging line/length, knowing how and when to play what shots etc. Once in a while some players come along that succeed as exceptions to these rules, such as Sehwag. However, we must not try to emulate the exception and make it the rule.

Please try to find the window through which the old coaching manual was defenstrated. Recover the manual, dust it off and start following it again. Good luck!

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 4:04 GMT)

Great article and tragically true about the establishment in NZ cricket. Martin Crowes approach towards the game is what made him once of the finest batsmen the world had seen. Its NZC's responsibility to ensure the current crop of players are surrounded buy the right expertise.Unfortunately in NZ we only have a handful of great ex-players here to pass on their knowledge.Crowe,Hadlee,Turner and Wright.All of whom have tried to work with NZ cricket only to walk away frustrated. I know it's said often enough nowadays about the available talent in NZ unfortunately its the system thats at fault. Maybe its time that the top 7-8 players coming up through the ranks are sent off to the county scene in England for a couple of years to learn that professional approach that unfortunately we can't provide for them here in NZ.

Posted by GasPipe on (September 13, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

Wow. Insightful, well-researched, and refreshingly frank and honest. The wide-ranging stats and the fascinating explanation of our batting decline was fascinating and eye-opening. Excellent article Mr. Crowe, you are probably the most qualified person to write such an article, and it's good to see someone addressing the roots of our batting woes and suggesting the way forward for our batters.

Another player I would suggest that could show the way forward is Jesse Ryder. He is playing first-class cricket again and I don't believe it will be long before he is back in the Black Caps, and I understand he has big goals as a batter (he wants the first NZ 300). He could prove to be another guiding light for our other batters.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

A very insightful read. The lack of hundreds is a blight on NZC.

Posted by Shaps on (September 13, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

Agreed with article, very well written, just few days back I was searching for reason, Why kiwis not upto level at International Test level & here is my answer.

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