New Zealand news January 20, 2011

John Wright hints at changing opening combination

ESPNcricinfo staff
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New Zealand coach John Wright has hinted at splitting the one-day opening combination of Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder for the series against Pakistan, as his side seeks to end a 11-match losing streak in the format. Wright hopes to use the six games against Pakistan to zero in on the right line-up for the World Cup, which begins on February 19.

"They [McCullum and Ryder] may not be at the top of the order," Wright told NZPA. "There may be only one of them at the top of the order. We really need to look at the way we have been playing and to consider where we have our firepower, particularly our impact batsmen. There is the opportunity to start with the Powerplay, and then who plays where when we get to the next Powerplay. We will have a look at that and make the decisions.

"It's something we just have to consider carefully. Dan [Daniel Vettori] will have some strong views on it and you look at the batting line-up, and if we can get players in form, and get our order right, then we should be able to do the job."

McCullum and Ryder formed one of New Zealand's most successful opening pairs, and Wright said the decision to move one of them lower down would be to beef up a misfiring middle order. "The one thing about New Zealand one-day sides is that they always appear to be at their strongest when you had great batting depth around Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8," Wright said. "When you played against New Zealand they were just a hard side to break down. We will be looking to bat as deep and with as much quality as we can around those areas."

Martin Guptill, who opened in the second Test in Wellington when Tim McIntosh was dropped, is likely to take the role in the one-dayers, if New Zealand decide to make the change. "Obviously the development of Martin Guptill has been a huge plus for us," Wright said. "He has played incredibly well in the Twenty20 series and he worked ever so hard in the Test series, and he looks ever so promising."

Despite the 1-0 defeat in the Test series, Wright was encouraged by New Zealand's show in the second Test when they stretched Pakistan for a hard-fought draw. "I was pleased with the improvement and quality of our play in Wellington. It was disappointing not to get a win, if we had broken that partnership [between Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan] we probably would have. I suppose we have got to learn to play sessions and we had a terrible session in Hamilton that cost us the series."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 22, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    pakistan batting looks retard.. no quality except younis khan and misbah.. all others to me look like good for 2020 only... The neither have technique nor patience to stay longer and build an innings in oneday,,,

  • supashan on January 22, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Is it just me or does Jesse kinda look like Elvis in that photo??

  • supashan on January 22, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    Well,well. It may just be that JW has made a big, but very effective call. Emphatic win to the Blackcaps.

    Well Done!

  • Rydersalegend on January 22, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Guptil, Ryder, Taylor, McCullum, Southee, Vettori (one of best spinners in the world) Mills, Would all make it into almost any team in the world, if you hadnt noticed until last year nz were consistantly in the top 4 ODI teams in the world, semis at the last world cup and 2nd at the champions trophy, Sure they are recovering but usually with their backs against the wall they can pull something out of the hat, and in all honestly if not for Mizba and Khan Pakistan would discrace themselves against almost any team in the world, Nz may not be the best team in the world but there player pool is much smaller than every other playing nation, and yet we still produce some very talented cricketers, so those from pakistan a country who can't win or lose a cricket game honestly, I keep the faith in nz, just like I wanted aussie to win the ashes because the underdog usually puts up a good fight.

  • LeftBrain on January 21, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    There is very little improvement in NZ, they appear to fight hard in second test only because they had 7 wrong decision in their favour, otherwise they would have been thrashed by day 4 and lost the series 2-0. As far as fire power is concerned, well, this is a quality talented teams have. Apart from Ryder and Taylor, none of the current NZ player would make it to any national team in the world.

  • daniraza on January 21, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    Well John Wright should come up with the new ideas of his other wise the NZ side will not be able to sustain against the international teams....!!!

  • on January 21, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    The test match only went into the fifth day and seems like hard fought test match because of the poor umpiring. If umpires had not made so many errors, most of which went against Pakistan, the series would have been easily won by the tourist 2-0. In my opinion currently Newzealand is a very weak team and I would be surprised if they succeed in ODIs against Pakistan or in the World Cup.

  • cheesemethod on January 21, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    "My bowling's gone really well, I've been extremely happy with the way the ball has come out. The runs haven't been flowing but I don't feel far away." - Jacob Oram.

    The runs haven't been flowing for a good few years now Jake, Really surprised hes back in the team without showing huge domestic gain. Much like the test lineup I think Mccullum opening and ryder at 5. I did love watching them both bat up the top when they were in full flight, much like gilchrist and haydos.

  • pakwellwisher on January 21, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    I think NZ should easily win this series against a third rate pakistan batting line up.

  • on January 21, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Please dont give the credit for the "hard-fought draw" to the kiwis. Give it to Misbah who never once tried to go for a win, even in the last session when he could have safely tried it.

  • on January 22, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    pakistan batting looks retard.. no quality except younis khan and misbah.. all others to me look like good for 2020 only... The neither have technique nor patience to stay longer and build an innings in oneday,,,

  • supashan on January 22, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Is it just me or does Jesse kinda look like Elvis in that photo??

  • supashan on January 22, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    Well,well. It may just be that JW has made a big, but very effective call. Emphatic win to the Blackcaps.

    Well Done!

  • Rydersalegend on January 22, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Guptil, Ryder, Taylor, McCullum, Southee, Vettori (one of best spinners in the world) Mills, Would all make it into almost any team in the world, if you hadnt noticed until last year nz were consistantly in the top 4 ODI teams in the world, semis at the last world cup and 2nd at the champions trophy, Sure they are recovering but usually with their backs against the wall they can pull something out of the hat, and in all honestly if not for Mizba and Khan Pakistan would discrace themselves against almost any team in the world, Nz may not be the best team in the world but there player pool is much smaller than every other playing nation, and yet we still produce some very talented cricketers, so those from pakistan a country who can't win or lose a cricket game honestly, I keep the faith in nz, just like I wanted aussie to win the ashes because the underdog usually puts up a good fight.

  • LeftBrain on January 21, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    There is very little improvement in NZ, they appear to fight hard in second test only because they had 7 wrong decision in their favour, otherwise they would have been thrashed by day 4 and lost the series 2-0. As far as fire power is concerned, well, this is a quality talented teams have. Apart from Ryder and Taylor, none of the current NZ player would make it to any national team in the world.

  • daniraza on January 21, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    Well John Wright should come up with the new ideas of his other wise the NZ side will not be able to sustain against the international teams....!!!

  • on January 21, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    The test match only went into the fifth day and seems like hard fought test match because of the poor umpiring. If umpires had not made so many errors, most of which went against Pakistan, the series would have been easily won by the tourist 2-0. In my opinion currently Newzealand is a very weak team and I would be surprised if they succeed in ODIs against Pakistan or in the World Cup.

  • cheesemethod on January 21, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    "My bowling's gone really well, I've been extremely happy with the way the ball has come out. The runs haven't been flowing but I don't feel far away." - Jacob Oram.

    The runs haven't been flowing for a good few years now Jake, Really surprised hes back in the team without showing huge domestic gain. Much like the test lineup I think Mccullum opening and ryder at 5. I did love watching them both bat up the top when they were in full flight, much like gilchrist and haydos.

  • pakwellwisher on January 21, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    I think NZ should easily win this series against a third rate pakistan batting line up.

  • on January 21, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Please dont give the credit for the "hard-fought draw" to the kiwis. Give it to Misbah who never once tried to go for a win, even in the last session when he could have safely tried it.

  • Abdul-Jabbar on January 21, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    Strage thinking!

    If middle order is not playing well, they should either groom them or look for better batsmen for those positions.

    What if bowlers are not getting wickets. Shall they find new bowlers or start giving ball to McCullum and Ryder?

  • thatsgold on January 21, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    just heard mccullum will bat at 6, team is 1.guptill 2.ryder 3.taylor 4.styris 5.franklin 6.b mccullum 7.oram 8.n mccullum 9.vettori 10.southee 11.bennett

  • ihaq1 on January 21, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    i would just like to add that Mcullum has an avergage of 88 in ODI's and Ryder 33...Mcullum is than one of the best one day batsmen in teh world and should play with the person he prefers as opener who should be steady on the other side as Mcullum scores...

  • ihaq1 on January 21, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    i'd say that new zealand must practice playing spin...being attacking batsmen they usually cant handle the slow surfaces and there will be three spinnners in most teams in the world cup...if the opening partnership averages over 50 than keep it and let the other players practice spin..however i have seen most of scoring come from mcullum methinks...usually the new zealands multiple opening combinations in tests are what one remembers and i dont remember a consistent duo in tests for a long time.....new zealand have good long line of alrounders and they must remember to stay around and score the 30's and 40's...with two fast men in southee and bennet... kyle mills is usually a wicket taker and has been know for some aggressive striking too...if i can remember new zealands openers have always been better than the rest of the team although for the first time i can see good knowable batsmen down to number six...so steady batting with a target of 250 should see them thru...

  • on January 21, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    John wright Is a revolution for NZ cricket, hope to see NZ in better shape In 2011

  • bondyambassador on January 21, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Taylor has to play at 3, whether he wants to or not is not up to him but that is the position that he best fits. Keen to see Woodcock get a run as has done some good stuff at domestic level. Williamson comes in to Eliotts position who just doesnt look the goods. Even when he scores run he does so in a fashion which is very ungainly and williamson looks like he will only get better with age. Big ups to selectors for picking Jake, think it was worth taking a punt on him as his bowling is such a strength even if he does bat below his capabilities.

  • on January 21, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    If Kiwis have to win games they have to start playing more consistent cricket...Wickets from Vettori and willow of McCullum cannot save the game... there are 9 others in the team that also have to support. Jessie Ryder well looking like a rabbit trying to Roar...he can hardly bat at international sports level.....You can't ask Martin Crowe along with Fleming and Astle to come and revive the game.. Vettori is a captain who just not allowed to captain the side..he is expected to take all 11 wickets and 400 odd runs....just doesnt work...... Kiwis cricket official, in the interest of the game...please start building a team.....and forget the pressure of winning WC2011...just not your cup of tea.... You dont need 7 Sachin Tendulkar and 3 McGrath/Shane Warne to win matches....you need cricketers willing to put efforts and not have laid back approach

  • Hollaz on January 21, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    McCullum has tov stay at the top to get things off to a good pace. Ryder would do well down the order since he is very good at playing spin.

  • on January 21, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    I still do not see why New Zealand keep persisting with Kyle Mills. He is now past his use by date. He is getting smacked around at domestic level which, lets face it, is a big step down from ODI's. He falls over under pressure. He is definitly not the bowler I want bowling the last over with the opposition needing 20 runs to win. As for the openers. I think its good to chuck Guptill into the openers position. I feel he plays his natural game when opening. When he comes in at 3 or 4 he gets stuck trying to get his eye in and is over cautious. Only time will tell.

  • SixFourOut on January 21, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    The problem is when you don't have decent bowlers, you are better off playing allrounders who can shore up the lower order and let you play a couple of extra batsmen........................................................................

    New Zealand don't stand a chance unless they play to their strengths - Which have always been a strong 7-8-9 ................................................

    What's the point of player bowlers who average 40? They wont win games..........

    Bat low and deep - That's the only way......................................

    Here's the team they need: 1.Guptil - 2.McCullum B - 3. Williamson - 4. Taylor - 5.Ryder - 6. Styris - 7. Franklin - 8.Oram - 9. Vettori - 10. McCullum N - 11 Mills

    That's a good mix of Left and Right Handers too and lower order hitting power............

    With plenty of bowling options - Mills, Oram, Franklin, Styris, Ryder - Pace......

    Vettori, McCullum N, Guptil, Williamson - Spin 9 bowlers - 9 Batsmen

    That's balance

  • bharath74 on January 20, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    With limited talent comes limited expectations, which is a good thing for Wright. NZ is on the right track under John Wright, they will be the dark horse of the tournament who can surprise any team on a given day. I wud never underestimate them even though they lost to BD and Pak.

  • stickywicketnick on January 20, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    I can't believe NZ cricket has decided to break up the best ODI opening partnership we have ever had.

    Together Ryder and McCullum average and opening partnership of 50.90, which is only beaten by the duo of Crowe and John Wright (58.40). In 22 games Ryder and McCullum are on the verge of making more runs in total than Astle and Fleming who opened 40 games together.

    NZ cricket need to stop making shot-gun decisions. If the middle order isn't working then change the middle order, not the openers!

  • on January 20, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    McCullum and Guptill could be a good combination because they're very quick between the wickets. We sometimes struggle to turn the struck over and are put under pressure early maybe this could ease some of the pressure that is put on us at times

  • on January 20, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Agree with zn264..... Guptill isn't the best against spin while Ryder plays it well.... a good move. Leave McCullum up the top though. Aside from his and Guptills boundary hitting they are pretty quick between the wickets together and Pakistan isn't the strongest fielding team.

    1 - McCullum, 2 - Guptill, 3 - Taylor, 4 - Ryder, 5 - Franklin, 6 - Styris, 7 - Woodcock, 8 - Vettori, 9 - Southee, 10- Mills, 11 - Bennett, 12 - Wiiliamson.

  • on January 20, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    Guptil is a good choice at the top. He is a fantastic striker however he needs to be able to develop sharp singles to rotate the strike. McCullum can do both so for me he is the likely choice if he is fit enough to keep also. I feel the decision to leave McGlashan out and including How as a backup keeper/batsman is a shocker. How as not shown he can perform at the highest level consistenly and to my bemusement the selectors keep going back to him. Of the two I would say McGlashan is the more innovative and confident on the bigger stage therefore he is the better prospect.

  • MarkM33 on January 20, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Funny comments from nzcricket174 and StraightHit: One says Ryder plays spin well, the other that he's not a great player of quality spin. Which is it guys??

  • MarkM33 on January 20, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    It's hard to know what the best option is until they try it. The team is a very different beast to when McCullum was batting at 7. As has been stated the McCullum/Ryder opening combo has been the best since Astle/Fleming so you wonder if it should be broken up. Then again, McCullum at 6 or 7 is also a good option. If it was me coaching them for the WC, I'd keep McCullum opening and drop Ryder down the order so the team looked something like this: B McCullum, Guptill, Taylor, Styris, Ryder, Franklin, Vettori, Oram, N McCullum, Southee, Mills/Bennett

    NZ can't always rely on the top 4 or 5 so they need a tail and this is a tail of epic proportions. They look reasonably strong at 6,7,8 and also have 3 specialist bowlers with a couple of extra bowlers in Ryder and Franklin to provide some variation.

    Honestly, I can't understand why this team couldn't and didn't annihilate the Bangers and put up a better showing against India.

  • Raaakz on January 20, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    This should be the order for WC... 1) B McCullum 2) Guptill 3) Taylor 4) Styris 5) Ryder 6) Woodcock 7) Franklin 8) Vettori 9) N McCullum 10) Mills 11) Bennet... 12) Williamson 13) Southee 14) How 15) Oram

  • SaintsFan on January 20, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    That will be an interesting change to send Martin Guptill to open up however, Pakistan should not miss out and be PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE. What I mean by that is Mr. Guptill, as we all know is not as good of a player of spin bowling as he is of the Pace. Thus, pakistan should try out opening the spell with Hafiz or Rehman along with Shoaib Akhtar, may be just an over or two of spin. Would be gutsy, but worth trying.

  • sammykent on January 20, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    New Zealand just need Oram and Styris in the middle order. The chances of these two playing for much longer is limited and they form the backbone of a strong middle order. Franklin has come along well but his batting at international level is not quite upper middle order material. Open with McCullum and Guptill or McCullum and Ryder and the outcome could be similar. No point shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic. New Zealand just need some wickets in hand in the latter stages to score more runs. McCullum, Ryder, Taylor, Guptill, Styris, Oram, Franklin, Vettori, McCullum, Mills, Southee. Everyone can bat and there is enough annoying medium pace and spin bowling to make scoring difficult on subcontinental pitches.

  • Ranura on January 20, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Good move. line up 4 WC 1. Guptill 2. Ryder 3. Taylor 4. Franklin 5. Styris 6. B. McCullum 7. Oram 8. Vettori 9. N. MacCullum 10. Sothee 11. Mills. I selected Franklin ahead of Williamson coz he gives da option as a allrounder and a early big hitter!!

  • CricketChat on January 20, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Jesse should open. On his good day, he will provide a high scoring rate at the top and the fact that he is not a great player against quality spin. Brendon could do the same along with Scott in the middle. Ross should come 3.

  • on January 20, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Well, the idea is good if Ryder bats at no 4 spot with Taylor at 3. My prediction is Pakistan will win the sries by 4-2.

  • on January 20, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    good decision. this might help them

  • on January 20, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    GOOD DICISION AND THEY ARE TRY ALL MATCH V/S.

  • Aftabkhan24 on January 20, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Well all the best New Zea-land, both teams are very much balanced, both are suffering from issues....

  • zn264 on January 20, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    I think having Guptil and McCullum opening together is a good move! They looked good in the last test and complemented each other very well! Bringing in Taylor at 3 (our best batsmen) and then Ryder at 4 will be a great combination. After that it is anyones guess, but we need to make sure we have a strong tail,so the likes of Oram, Southee, and Mills, are a must in any line up!

  • nzcricket174 on January 20, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    The only reason I can see breaking up the McCullum/Ryder combination is that Ryder plays spin well, which a lot of the batting does not. I'm guessing they want to bat him at 4 or 5 so that he will have a chance to bat against spin.

  • stevejohnson1010 on January 20, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Ryder has to get back into kind of form he was against India when they last toured New Zealand. My prediction is New Zealand will win the series 4-2.

  • HawK89 on January 20, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    When Oram and McCullum were at the lower order, New Zealand had a good chance of still wining the game or even steal it.

  • on January 20, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    i dont think its been fare on wright to be given this kind of team at this juncture when nzl has hit the bottom of the pit. You cant expect him to perform miracle. Nzl has always been the dark horse but its sad to see them struggling to find some quality in their line up

  • rzi-BDML on January 20, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    That may be a good idea for wright, but seems odd, as they are one of the best opening pairs for NZ. Lets c.............

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  • rzi-BDML on January 20, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    That may be a good idea for wright, but seems odd, as they are one of the best opening pairs for NZ. Lets c.............

  • on January 20, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    i dont think its been fare on wright to be given this kind of team at this juncture when nzl has hit the bottom of the pit. You cant expect him to perform miracle. Nzl has always been the dark horse but its sad to see them struggling to find some quality in their line up

  • HawK89 on January 20, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    When Oram and McCullum were at the lower order, New Zealand had a good chance of still wining the game or even steal it.

  • stevejohnson1010 on January 20, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Ryder has to get back into kind of form he was against India when they last toured New Zealand. My prediction is New Zealand will win the series 4-2.

  • nzcricket174 on January 20, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    The only reason I can see breaking up the McCullum/Ryder combination is that Ryder plays spin well, which a lot of the batting does not. I'm guessing they want to bat him at 4 or 5 so that he will have a chance to bat against spin.

  • zn264 on January 20, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    I think having Guptil and McCullum opening together is a good move! They looked good in the last test and complemented each other very well! Bringing in Taylor at 3 (our best batsmen) and then Ryder at 4 will be a great combination. After that it is anyones guess, but we need to make sure we have a strong tail,so the likes of Oram, Southee, and Mills, are a must in any line up!

  • Aftabkhan24 on January 20, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Well all the best New Zea-land, both teams are very much balanced, both are suffering from issues....

  • on January 20, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    GOOD DICISION AND THEY ARE TRY ALL MATCH V/S.

  • on January 20, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    good decision. this might help them

  • on January 20, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Well, the idea is good if Ryder bats at no 4 spot with Taylor at 3. My prediction is Pakistan will win the sries by 4-2.