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January 10, 2011
John Wright, the New Zealand coach, has called his team's performance in the Hamilton Test as "unacceptable" but has urged "patience" from fans following the crushing three-day defeat. New Zealand lost all ten second-innings wickets in a session to be shut out of the game that, until tea on the third day, had been closely fought. The Test was Wright's first major assignment in his new role as coach, after he replaced Mark Greatbatch following New Zealand's forgettable one-day campaigns in the subcontinent.
"I'm a little bit older and wiser," Wright, who was formerly India's coach, told Radio Sport. "It's certainly been an interesting experience. You've got to have a look at things and I suppose in reality you're looking at the challenge which lies ahead of you. Everybody understands pretty clearly that the performance was unacceptable."
New Zealand's ten-wicket humbling came on a pitch that was favourable for batting. The key, Wright said, was to find batsmen capable of occupying the crease for extended periods of time. "It's going to take some time and we need to find batsmen that are prepared to be very patient and really want to stay at the crease.
"The talent's there but we've got a bit of teaching to do. New Zealand sports fans do have big expectations, I understand that, and I can say to the public from all of us it was totally unacceptable and we've got to do a lot better. But show us some patience. If I can do my job properly and the boys respond, we'll get there."
Wright backed New Zealand to turn the tables in Wellington, the venue for the next Test, but praised Pakistan for their win which was achieved despite the absence of several first-choice players for various reasons. "They're very rich in playing talent and they've always, over the course of their history, managed to field a good team. They've got great fast-bowling stocks and they're a good team, but they're beatable."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement
His rapid improvement with the ball has been integral to England coming from behind to lead the series - but that is just one area where Moeen Ali continues to impress
After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways
For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset
His decisions in the England series have seemed to confirm that he does not care too much for the Test game. Maybe he should be concentrating on the World Cup
With too great an emphasis on limited-overs cricket, MS Dhoni's side have a set of skills and a level of concentration that are not commensurate with the necessities of Tests