New Zealand v India, 4th ODI, Hamilton January 27, 2014

Ronchi easing into his comfort zone in international cricket

'Execution of plans vital on small grounds' - Ronchi

Luke Ronchi is living the international cricketer's dream a second time. The first one with Australia ended quickly, but Ronchi is slowly starting to feel more comfortable at this level with New Zealand. He has made quick runs down the order in all three games against India so far, following two Man-of-the-Match knocks in the T20s against West Indies.

Ronchi attributed the performances to a relaxed frame of mind. "I feel pretty good and confident in the way things are going," Ronchi said. "I guess the end of the West Indies series kicked things into gear and made me more comfortable at this level which is a good thing. The more relaxed I am, the clearer frame of mind I have, the better I perform."

Ronchi made his New Zealand debut against England last year before playing in the Champions Trophy. He struggled as an opener during that stint, making 47 runs in six innings, and was left out of the squad for Bangladesh before being summoned as cover.

Brendon McCullum's decision to give up the keeping gloves allowed Ronchi to return in a middle-order role, which he had said was more comfortable for him. He had a decent outing in Sri Lanka but could not do much in the home one-dayers against West Indies. But then he hit 51 off 28 and 48 off 25, both unbeaten, in the T20s and was glad to have scored a few ODI runs after that against India.

"You always feel the extra pressure to perform. It's international cricket. You always want to do well and try and cement a spot or make runs when given an opportunity. I was certainly trying harder and harder the less I was performing. So to come out and make a few runs in a couple of games was nice and I have continued to [against India] now. I can stay more relaxed and play my natural game."

When asked if he was looking forward to playing the 2015 World Cup, Ronchi said he was just focused on the present. "I have said before, I want to do as well as I can now. Whatever happens, happens. If I look to the future then my mind's not thinking of what I need to do now and things can go wrong. As long as I am concentrating on my stuff now, hopefully it happens, but just now is my main goal."

Ronchi did come up against his former international team in the Champions Trophy, and said it would be "awesome" if he got the chance to play against Australia in the World Cup. "We played against them in the Champions Trophy. My mind was racing, looking at the guys I was keeping to when they were batting. I played a lot of cricket with them, going out to bat knowing every single one of them either by playing with them or against them or room-mates at academies and things like that. It's a different feeling, that's for sure. But if it happens in a World Cup, it will be awesome."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • balaji on January 28, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    @alexk400 that useless jaddu only added another fifty in the 4 odi and you will see these 2 useless tailenders providing nightmare in the forthcoming test series.First you learn to praise your opponent before calling them useless. Ashwin has an average more than 40 in tests and no:1 all rounder in test and jaddu is in top 10 odi all rounders list.

  • balaji on January 28, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    @ shane bond Ronchi is a better wicket keeper than watling and even ronchi if given an opportunity will average even better than watling.

  • Alex on January 27, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    Ronchi is useless for me. Also i see nz refuse to admint their bowlers bowl wrong line. And they praising indian batsman instead of take a critical look at bowling plan. That says a lot about nz think tank. They are ashamed that they panicked in last ODI. Admittance is first step to cure. So nz stop praising useless jadeja and ashwin or you have to do that rest of the matches. You guys praising wrong batsman means you giving confidence to useless indian tail batsman. Do not do that. Instead play with smart and out think indian batsman.

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2014, 21:51 GMT

    Not a Ronchi fan. I just don't think he's a good enough keeper or batter to justify his position in the team. I hope he proves me wrong though. Speaking of not deserving a place in the team I think McCullum needs some attention.

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2014, 21:36 GMT

    Don't let two slap-happy T20 knocks give you over-confidence in the ODI arena you have hitherto being awful in..... we expect more and you will need to keep delivering. You are a great guy and a good player, who is improving.... but we would prefer an average guy who is an awesome player and getting better - naturally - so there is still work to do.... Not least of all because Ronchi playing loses the team, effectively, two players... by upsetting the balance that allows one keeper (i.e. BMac) and then all our all-rounders - including the dynamic and far-better-than-yet-realized-Neesham. Not having him at Eden Park cost us that game... and I am unsure why Nathan McCullum's form, so threadbare at present, has not been discussed or raised as an issue. Just 15-20 runs from Nathan at Eden Park and we would have amassed 330 and won easily... If Neesham had played... 350? We have superior all-rounders who hit long and bowl well... Neesham takes a wicket every 20 balls!! Play them all....

  • David on January 27, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    Phil Hughes should apply for NZ citizenship after missing out on Aussie South Africa tour. He is the inform state batsmen by far.

  • Android on January 27, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    @balaji28 What are you on about! As much as I love Ronchi slogging, Watling adds stabilty and averages close to 40 since 2012. No point in dropping him in favour of Ronchi.

  • stewey on January 27, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    Was never a Ronchi fan until the WI series when he started putting some good performances in. About time he has come into form, and I do hope he keeps it up.

  • balaji on January 27, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Australia missed the great opportunity of having ronchi in their team by judging ronchi in some matches like they did for tim payne.I know ronchi is a dangerous batsmen and pretty good wicket keeper and he has proved even at the age of 32 any person can achieve and so age isnot a factor in cricket.I wish ronchi stays in his form in future tours but his demerit is ronch won't be able to handle spinners very well in sub continent wickets. Ronchi should be considered in kiwi test team too in place of watling

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