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February 7, 2010
Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, will assist the new national coach Mark Greatbatch as a batting advisor to some leading players, with a particular focus on Test cricket. Crowe has already been working with batsmen such as Ross Taylor and Tim McIntosh as part of a programme in which players choose their own mentors.
"It's nice to be asked, finally," Crowe told Sunday Star-Times. "It's only for Test matches and getting players up for Test matches, including Ross Taylor and Tim McIntosh. Mark will guide me where he feels I can be of use. It's not an appointment as such, but in my spare time away from the Rugby Channel I will do the odd bit helping our guys prepare for Tests."
Greatbatch was pleased to have Crowe's services. "We've got an initial focus on the longer form of the game, which we need to do if we're going to get our Test ranking up. Martin will be doing some hard yakka, talking about the game, talking about game-plans and goal-setting."
Although it's an informal role, Crowe said he would focus on training the batsmen to stay in for longer periods of time. "You have to be technically aware of what you need to do to stay in - that's the key to batting in Test matches, staying in, which means eradicating ways of getting out, delaying your dismissal for as long as possible."
He was also in favour of a set-up that gave the captain more power, such as the one in New Zealand where Daniel Vettori plays a central role in the functioning of the team. "I'm a big believer that the captain has to be driving things," Crowe said. "We've lost half a generation of Test players, particularly in the batting area, because the coach [John Bracewell] was everything. That's not the way cricket is designed.
"What they are doing now is just an open, transparent way to do things. The captain has to be accountable and has to bring out the best in his players on the field and Dan has a good grasp of that. It's just that over the past few years we'd got used to the coach driving everything. Paddy [Greatbatch] is a big believer in working behind the scenes because that was how he was brought up, so this set-up's got a good feeling to me."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.