New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Wellington January 25, 2016

We didn't use our brains in death overs - Grant Flower


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Watch - Henry and McClenaghan's rollicking partnership

In a frank post-mortem after the 70-run loss, Pakistan's batting coach Grant Flower has said the visitors "didn't use [their] brains" towards the end of New Zealand's innings, in which 71 runs were plundered off the final five overs. Those runs had largely come from New Zealand's No. 9 and 10 batsmen, Mithcell McClenaghan and Matt Henry, who put on 73 together, before No. 11 Trent Boult edged the final ball of the innings through the vacant slip region.

Pakistan had used the short ball well, to have New Zealand 99 for 6 by the 23rd over, but Flower said the death overs required a different approach.

"We didn't use our brains at all towards the end," he said. "Bowling yorkers is skill execution, and we didn't do that. They played well at the end. The short ball worked to a certain extent, but we overdid it, and we didn't learn and we just didn't bowl enough yorkers.

"If we're going to be honest we should have got them out for 200-odd, seeing the start we had."

Pakistan's seamers were guilty of bowling lengths that allowed New Zealand's tailenders get under the ball. Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan struck six sixes and seven fours in what was a record 73-run ninth-wicket stand for New Zealand against Pakistan.

"You can get as many messages as you want out to the players, but it's got to come from within," Flower said. "It's also executing your skills. If there's a yorker to be bowled, you have to bowl it as a yorker, not a half volley."

Flower didn't confine his stern words to the bowling attack's performance. Pakistan's batsmen had made a slow start to the chase of 281, making just 33 runs from the first 10 overs, at the end of which the required rate had climbed to 6.2. Flower felt they could have been more aggressive.

"Even though we should have got them out for a lot less, I still backed the guys to get the target. We lacked a bit of intent at the start and then we had quite a few soft wickets. We didn't take advantage of a good batting track in the afternoon."

New Zealand have now won 9 out of 11 completed limited-overs matches in their home summer. Pakistan, meanwhile, have lost three consecutive matches on tour, having begun with a comfortable T20 victory in Auckland.

"It doesn't seem like we're learning from our mistakes - that's the disappointing part," Flower said. "It's one thing losing, but you're paid to do a job and if you keep making the same mistakes, there are going to be questions asked."

Flower praised New Zealand's "resilience" for defending 280 despite losing McClenaghan's overs through injury, and described Henry Nicholls' 82 as "mature".

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • A on January 26, 2016, 14:11 GMT

    I can't see Pak team problems being solved in short term. The honest truth is Pak is not producig good enough limited overs batsmen. PCB should arrange more Pak A tours especially outside subcontinent. Maybe then Pak will have enough batsmen to choose from. I think its time to drop Shehzad, Maqsood, Akmal etc for good. Pak have wasted enough time on so called talented but un reliable players. Give chances to more new players.

  • GAZALEE on January 26, 2016, 6:57 GMT

    why is shoib maqsood in the team .

  • Muhammad Imran Ghulam on January 26, 2016, 4:53 GMT

    i think pakistan team is very poor against newzealand in condition and pakistan didn't survive the ODI series

  •   Malhar Memon on January 26, 2016, 2:43 GMT

    Pakistan players are going to complain about not playing at home, blah blah blah blah. They don't even know how to play proper cricketing shots. Every shot they hit goes to the fielders hands, whether on the ground or in the air. PLEASE tell me why shehzad, maqsood are in even in the national team. What have they done to deserve their spots and so many chances. They can't handle pressure and now we have two more shahid afridis now who can't bat with their brains. We have so many mature batsmen in Fawad alam, asad shafiq and so many others. Asad shafiq has been playing so well at the test cricket level, why isn't he playing in the one day?? and why do selectors think shehzad and masood are better replacements. Please give me a break because I'm losing interest in pakistan cricket. As far as the bowlers are concerned, they just had a and day and will make a strong comeback. But that score should have been chased, it's shehzad and maqsood that are the problem, kick them out of this team.

  •   Shakib Ishfaq on January 26, 2016, 0:20 GMT

    99/6 , I bet Mccullum wouldn't have taken the foot off the gas. He'd have gone for the throat and the innings would have ended 120/10

  • aamir on January 25, 2016, 21:56 GMT

    Disappointing performance . It seems that both basic skills and confidence is lacking. Some of the top order batsmen were timing well but hitting straight to the fielders. The NZ fielding was spectacular , as always . They are agile and athletic. They can restrict the scoring and easily frustrate the batsmen to play an ungainly cross bat shot to be caught in the deep. Mr. Flower could you please advise the players not to hit these feeble, infantile ,impotent ,mistimed sacrilegious and offensive shots straight into the fielders hands. My suggestion is to forget about winning and just focus on playing proper cricket shots along the ground with placement. I am sure that their scoring will improve. Tell them that whoever is out caught in the deep , will sit out the next game. If we are to lose at least let us watch proper cricket. And learn to bowl a mandatory 2 Yorkers an over , irrespective of the consequences - or else! I am sure the results will improve. Zaman

  • Naresh on January 25, 2016, 21:01 GMT

    @LOVETHEGAME111 ON JANUARY 25, 2016, 16:55 GMT...My goodness gracious....Please go through the summary of the match or know the facts before commenting something foolish like "why didnt he bowl amir 10 overs???"...Do you even know that Amir is injured and has left the field???? He was hit on the foot by Mitch Santner's straight drive.

  • Makkam on January 25, 2016, 20:24 GMT

    That ahmed shehzad has had more lives/chances than a cheshire cat,what is it going to take to drop him TOTALLY he is only good in the BPL.No exploiting the first 6 or 10 overs.u get 1 good score then a string of poor scores,no idea on building an innings,1st odi we just a wkt then next over he gives his wkt away.

  • Reza on January 25, 2016, 18:35 GMT

    Unfortunately be it a foreign coach or a home coach there's been no difference over 20 years. Rest of the World moves forward. The only way forward would be a 10yr plan where somebody high up has the power to change things. Sadly it will never happen and within 5 years we will see the same demise as in Hockey and Squash. Too many people/players have a free ride in this setup but this machine of destruction is rolling down a slope and is getting harder to stop.

  • Tughral on January 25, 2016, 18:08 GMT

    Happy to see Flower didnt limit his insults to the bowlers.Biggest problem is as he has rightly pointed out that no one seems to be learning from their mistakes.Shehzad has failed to find gaps for his poster photo shots since his first game and this is still his problem.hafeez has absolutely no idea how to take singles when the boundaries dry up.He is a terrible runner between the wickets,always has been either he doesnt run and when he does he gets his partner run out.azhar doesnt have a lot of shots naturally and hence tries manufacturing shots and taking one in the middle order seems to have the ability to build an innings.Babar looks good but then didnt we say the same thing about sohaib,umar shehzad at some point?