New Zealand v Zimbabwe, Only Test, Napier, 3rd day January 28, 2012

Four quicks have 'venom in every spell' - Martin

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Martin, who claimed career-best figures of 6 for 26 against Zimbabwe in Napier, has said New Zealand's success in the Test had much to do with a four-pronged pace attack. New Zealand's bowlers combined to bowl Zimbabwe out twice on the same day - only the third such instance in history - propelling the hosts to an innings and 301-run victory.

"It was [overwhelming for Zimbabwe] I think … four [fast] guys with the ball, they all do something a little bit different. We don't probably get over-bowled, so there's a little bit of venom in every spell." New Zealand played four quicks in the match, with Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee partnering Martin. In Zimbabwe's first innings, each of the four fast bowlers picked up two wickets apiece to skittle the visitors for 51, while in the second Martin and Bracewell polished them off.

"The pitch actually quickened up a wee bit over the course of the match. I'm definitely more of a bounce bowler, so I enjoyed the bounce and pace in it. Dougie just swings the ball very nicely to the right-handers, and is always going to be a threat. I think Boulty and Timmy were hungry, and definitely wanted the ball the whole day. So we were all competing for it, and it's nice to get a win out of that kind of competitiveness within the bowling ranks."

With Daniel Vettori filling the spinner's role, the New Zealand line-up comprised only five frontline batsmen, plus wicketkeeper BJ Watling. However, with some of the bowlers' ability to contribute with the bat as well, the line-up isn't unstable, Martin said. "I like to see it [five bowlers playing] happening. I think the ability of Doug and Timmy with the bat is going to get better and better, and with Dan batting at six - he's out there to score runs every time he plays, he probably averages about 40 [with the bat] over the past five years - I think we're going to have some success."

Martin's eight wickets in the match took him level with Chris Cairns on the list of New Zealand's top wicket-takers. With 218, Martin is joint-third, behind Richard Hadlee and Vettori. "I had him [Cairns] on the radar, but perhaps not at the start of the day," Martin said. "I'm stoked to have got that far, and hopefully I push on past him."

Tweaking his run-up has helped him be more effective, Martin said. "I tinkered with something last summer, just to get my stride patterns right with my run-up, so I wasn't over-striding. Now I'm cruising in a little bit more, the angle with which I'm bowling now is helping me swing the ball more."

After the limited-overs series against Zimbabwe, New Zealand will face stronger opposition in South Africa and, according to Martin, they are up for the challenge. "I think the consistency with which we have attacked that off-stump line, with a little bit of movement, and the way we have drawn them [batsmen] into playing shots that perhaps they didn't want to, I think against any side that is always going to be competitive.

"The slip catching has been out of this world. I don't think I have seen a better one than the one Dean Brownlie took today. All of those things we may have to do for longer periods against South Africa, but they definitely bode well for the ability of our boys to remain composed and get the results, which is something we have carried on from Hobart."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nick on January 30, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    He will go down as one of the true New Zealand cricket legends! He seems to be getting better with age! His career ending dissection of Phil Hughes was fantastic.

  • Danuka on January 30, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    i would rather appriciate if they dont talk about beating Zimbabwe at home. seriously! not to be rude but i reckon it is useless if you know the game properly. say somehting to upset upcoming home series Chris martin!

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Agree with Rag-Aaron; watching Chris Martin being interviewed after the match, there were no cliches or platitudes that you expect to hear from most sportsmen being interviewed. His clarity of thought and genuine insight were a refreshing change.

    Hopefully he can stay fit for another couple of years.

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Good coaches make a lot of difference to this hardworking team of fighters...John wright is a good coach

  • josh on January 29, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    old skip McCullum was having a ball out there 2 maybe time 2 give it 2 him fulltime?

  • Kuda on January 29, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    fair and fine NZ was disciplined with the ball and each of the bowlers who got wickets deserve their credit, but lets take a different angle to this NZ win. firstly the opposition in the Name of Zim was a bit on the lesser side, they are a team coming from 6 - 8 years of not playing cricket and they have been exposed to only zim condition of play over the test exile. and NZ established a pitch which highly suited their bowlers with the knowledge they had amassed of zim players during their ordinary cricket display in Zim last year. zim has shown a great improvement in their cricket of late but this their first outing outside the home was disastrous. i hope NZ has taken a good look at their good showing during this test because definitely SA will come breathing fire when they tour the nation this Feb. i think Zim will def improve over time and they will gain the necessary experience, but NZ as a recognised team should show their pedigree against the better teams.

  • Ning-nong on January 29, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    Everyone focussed on series between Aus v Ind & Pak v Eng. However I for one am going to watch how N.Zealand go about their series with Zimbabwe. I think N.Z have the potential to create upsets on the world stage, remember they beat the Aussies in their own backyard not so long ago. That's why for me the series win for Pakistan in New Zealand last year went a long way towards my praise of Misbah Ul-Haq's captaincy, everyone will now be jumping on the bandwagon now that Pakistan have beaten England - but for me that series win against an underrated New Zealand side was a good indicator of batting composure against a useful pace attack and world class spinner in Vettori. I won't be surprised if N. Zealand beat England - never say never!

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    do the same to the visiting teams especially teams from sub continent ...take india when they toured newzealand in 2009 u guys offered them flat pitches and they feel like home.... in that series indian batsman made most of the chance given 2 them and also drawn a test in napier i guess batting for 2 and half days just loosing 4-5 wkts ...this shouldn't be the case for these teams when they visit nz this time around...

  • Rahul on January 29, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    Phantom is a Legend.................................!

  • Ryan on January 29, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    Each of these four quicks bring something different to the table; Bracewell - hit the deck hard and swings it away from the right-hander with a bit of seam, Martin - bowls hooping in-swingers at good pace, Boult - left arm variation and is deadly accurate swinging it away from the left hander, Southee - bowls out-swingers and is a touch quicker then the others. We also have good back-up in Wagner [who will probably come in for Southee at some stage], Henry, and Milne. @ForgeNZ: One is not far away [Neil Wagner] and Milne will be ready in a year or two.

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