New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington, 5th day January 19, 2011

Talisman Vettori steps down from captaincy


Daniel Vettori confirmed he would be stepping down from the captaincy after the World Cup, making the second Test at the Basin Reserve his last at the helm. Vettori has captained the side in 32 Tests since he took over from Stephen Fleming in 2007, and sits third on the list of most Tests captained for New Zealand, behind Fleming (80) and John Reid (34).

Vettori said that the plan had always been to step down after the World Cup and that nothing had occurred to convince him to extend his tenure as skipper. "I made that decision three and a half years ago," Vettori said. "So that's it. My timing was always to finish after the World Cup and that stays the same."

Vettori's stint has been a disappointing one for New Zealand, as his captaincy coincided with a significant dip in form for the Test team. Under him, New Zealand have won only six Tests in three years, with four of those wins coming against Bangladesh. They have lost eighteen Tests and drawn thirteen, with nine series losses out of thirteen.

Throughout his captaincy, Vettori has been New Zealand's most consistent performer with the ball, taking 116 wickets at an average of 33.38, ahead of Chris Martin's 93 scalps at 35.08. He has also been routinely called upon to provide stability to New Zealand's batting from the lower order. He's hit four centuries and nine fifties as captain and his aggregate since taking over - 1917 runs - stands behind only Ross Taylor's and Brendon McCullum's during the same period. For much of his captaincy, Vettori has been New Zealand's talisman. A tireless workhorse with the ball, and a courageous fighter with bat in hand.

"There are always regrets, you always want to perform better," Vettori said. "But I can walk away from the captaincy thinking that I gave it everything, particularly with my performance."

The captaincy hasn't been entirely joyless though for Vettori as he singled out victories that brought him satisfaction during his tenure as leader. "The Test win against England and the Test win against Pakistan last year were highlights. Just seeing a group of young guys come into the team [has also been a highlight]. It's a vastly different outfit from the one I started captaining and I think there are some really talented players there."

Vettori also sees a bright future ahead as long as New Zealand's young squad can capitalise on their talent, but claims the team lacks genuine strike power. "If we can get the most out of the likes Taylor, Ryder, McCullum, Guptill and Williamson in the years to come, I think there's an exciting team there. We still need to find fast bowlers coming in. You always want to find guys who can penetrate, so if they come along, that would be great."

Despite stepping down from the captaincy, Vettori confirmed he would continue to play Test cricket and has no plans for retirement as yet. "Test cricket is the part of the game I love. I want to play for as long as I can. There are still a lot of things I want to achieve, so there's no way I'm stepping away from Test cricket."

He will captain the side in the upcoming one-day series against Pakistan, before leading the team to the World Cup. "We've got six one-dayers and then the big World Cup, so there's still a lot of captaincy to come. So that last game-hopefully the World Cup final, that's when the weight [of the captaincy] will be lifted."

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    Interesting comment from Paul Henshaw that we would've won but for a quality bowler up front! That is a big BUT. We have what we have. And we were patently not good enough.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Interesting selection of Jamie How as back-up wicketkeeper for the world cup since he has never kept wickets, his name has been mentioned before as captain but he has never been able to hold-down a regular spot in the team and his form now does not exactly warrant selection, if he does score some runs i reckon he,ll be the next captain and opener replacing MacIntosh

  • Ashwin on January 21, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    why isnt my comments here about vettori cricinfo dont you guys like it when i praise players that are not indian stop being biased and put everyone's comment here unless they are harmful eg racist etc. Everyone has an opinion here whether you like it or not its you duty/job to put them on here stop being biased towards indians while indians are allowed to say whatever they want about other players and countries grow up

  • Ned on January 21, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    i hope he does a tendulkar or dravid and once freed from the burdens of captaincy flourish like there no tomorrow.

  • Mark on January 20, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Here's a random thought on this: NZ have been always been average but probably less than average over the last few years while Vettori has been in charge albeit due to no fault of Vettori. I think the poor performance of the team is due in large part to the fact the team doesn't seem to be much of a team. This, I think, will be John Wright's biggest challenge in taking the personalities and making them a team, buying into the setup and plan that he has. They could also drop the ridiculous name "Black Caps" and, like every other internationl team, call themselves "New Zealand" the country that they represent. That may help restore a bit of pride.

    I wonder if Vettori's resignation as captain will help this process.

  • Adil on January 20, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Well I dont know, I guess it is good for world cricket that he resigned from captaincy. Vettori may be a good player as far as NZ cricketing standards are concerned, but the maturity and elegance needed for a captain wasnt his thing, the way he dealt with losses, the way he chose not to congratulate opposing teams after defeats, the way he tried to avoid looking into his and his side's weaknesses and work on them, his main focus used to be in degrading opposition and formulating excuses after excuses. I dont think it is any loss for world cricket that he is no more a captain. As a player he was the best NZ could afford to offer in last 5 years or so. But again only by NZ standards!

  • Arunprasad on January 20, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    A true fighter for his fighter.... Gives 100% for his team on the field. His commitment & the responsibility he took during his tenure as a captain is immense. Good luck man!!!

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    as a captain he might not have done well but he has tried a lot with bat and ball.

  • RAM on January 20, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    Not a smart move from NZ point of view......But a good move from vettori's point........bcoz NZ dont want to think of it too much before WC whom to name after him........but vettori can relax and play......and can give 100% both as a player and captain........ALL THE BEST VETTORI AND NZ....who r very dangerous in any megatourney....

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    He pretty much hit the nail on the head we lack a couple of strike bowlers its as simple as that no offence pakistan we would have won with a quality bowler upfront

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