New Zealand news January 20, 2011

John Wright hints at changing opening combination

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

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  • Dummy4 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,,,

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

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

  • Shannon 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!

  • Shannon 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.

  • Adil 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.

  • Dani 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....!!!

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Brent 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.

  • S.shah on January 21, 2011, 8:14 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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.

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