New Zealand news May 31, 2010

'Vettori shouldn't be a selector' - Astle

Cricinfo staff

Former New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle feels captain Daniel Vettori should step down as a national selector because that responsibility could create a sense of insecurity among his team-mates. Astle fears the team spirit may be affected if the captain has a major say in selection, and added that if Vettori gave up that role, it would allow him to focus on his job as the team's leading strike bowler, and captain.

"He's capable but deep down I think it is too much to take on. Being captain means you take on a certain role and while he should definitely have an input, he shouldn't be a selector," Astle told the New Zealand Herald. "You want your team-mates to be able to discuss things. Players won't do that if they think it might hinder their selection."

Former New Zealand wicketkeeper Warren Lees was also concerned that Vettori's role as a spinner may become redundant if he puts the team's concerns before his own. Vettori is currently the second-highest wicket-taker for New Zealand, behind Richard Hadlee, with 325 wickets. "If he's a good captain, there's a risk he won't get the most out of himself as a bowler because he'll spend the whole time thinking of others," Lees said. "He might need to be more selfish."

The former players also discussed another vital member of the New Zealand side, Brendon McCullum, whose dual role as a wicketkeeper-batsman in all forms of the game has been debated of late. McCullum, who gave up the gloves in Twenty20 internationals to focus on batting alone, isn't sure whether he will follow suit in Tests and ODIs. He said he would take a decision in the coming months on the best way to preserve himself for New Zealand.

Astle felt McCullum should give up keeping because New Zealand needed him as a batsman to shore up an inexperienced batting order. "Giving up the keeping should allow him more time to work on his batting. From what I've seen, it's not that he doesn't want to do it but it's more of a physical thing and he's looking for longevity in the game," Astle said. "I think some people have been too quick to judge."

Lees, however, felt New Zealand couldn't afford to lose him as a keeper. "We don't know how bad his back is. I was surprised coach Mark Greatbatch did not originally know about that," he said. "We are a weak team and need Brendon keeping to have the balance to beat the best in world."

Former New Zealand fast bowler, Danny Morrison, now a commentator, spoke out on the team's recent performance. He felt the senior batsmen weren't putting their hands up enough, going by New Zealand's performance in the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and in Florida, where they were bowled out for 81 in a Twenty20 against Sri Lanka.

"I think more onus needs to go on McCullum, [Ross] Taylor and [Jesse] Ryder as a core group of senior batsmen, who have a responsibility to perform. There was a glaring lack of runs in the Caribbean and it wasn't good enough."

Shane Bond's retirement from all forms has weakened the bowling attack, and Morrison called for the youngsters to fill the breach quickly. "It's time young guys stepped up because big Daryl [Tuffey] and Chris [Martin] haven't got long left at the top. They're still useful, especially in New Zealand conditions with their pace and bounce, but aren't getting it through at real pace. Brent Arnel is a prospect. He looks like he's modelled himself on Shane Bond with a nice action and small delivery stride," Morrison said.

"I also saw Corey Anderson up close at the Hong Kong Sixes last year, albeit off a shorter run-up. He had a strong, powerful action with a top speed of over 140km/h. Andy McKay gets it through too."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Makwena on June 4, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Thanx to RSA politics now we have our best player migrating. Just imagine our cricket team line-up if all RSA born cricketor where playing for RSA

    Dream text team

    1.GC Smith(capt) 2.A Strauss(vc-capt) 3.K Peterson 4.J Kallis 5.Jon Trott 6.AB Villiers 7.M Boucher/ BJ Watling (wk) 8.R Mclaren/Parnell/M Morkel/ Grant Elliot 9.J botha/Harris 10.D Steyn 11.Ntini

    Dream T20 and ODI

    1.GC Smith 2.Lumb/Kieswetter bat-WK 3.A Strauss(vc-capt) / Jon Trott 4.J Kallis 5.K Peterson 6.AB Villiers 7.M Prior /BJ Watling/Boucher bat-WK 8.R Mclaren/Albie/ Grant Elliot/Roelof depending on the pitch 9.J botha (capt) 10.D Steyn 11.W Parnell

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    Grant Elliot from SA aswell.

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    @Prateek - NZ players born outside NZ: BJ Watling - Durban, South Africa; Mathew Sinclair - Katherine, Australia; Scott Styris - Brisbane, Australia

  • michael on June 1, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    McCullum is just being selfish..he knows the team is weaker without him keeping and yet he is stil determined to go down this road. What happened to the team comes first? If he was scoring consistently then thats another thing but hes almost doing worse batting wise without the gloves.

  • bharath74 on June 1, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    If a player is eligible to play for the country he is living, he should be selected irrespective of where he was born. Prateek, forget cricket, Sonia Gandhi is italian, she became PM of India. I guess u remember Deepak Patel, Jeetan Patel,,,,,.

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2010, 1:00 GMT

    at Prateek: Matthew Sinclair was born in Australia and still played for NZ.

  • hayden on June 1, 2010, 0:09 GMT

    i see no problem with vettori doing what he is currently doing. when australias touring overseas pontings on the selection panel. as long as vettori doenst let personal opinions effect his decission making process. and to my mate on face book praisng new zealand on only selcting kiwis...lou vincent ring any bells mate! aussie born and one of the key reasons you kiwis held on 0-0 against australia about 8 years ago. and i doubt he's the only one not born in new zealand either!

  • Beau on May 31, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    McCullum should give up the gloves. Ingram seems in good form, and Watling debuted well. For now, I'd pick Ingram unless Watling showed really good form with the bat. NZ needs McCullum to become the senior top order batsman they so sorely lack - someone who stays at the crease. While this isn't his natural game, he has shown a much greater aptitude for it than his any of his team mates.

    NZ need top order batsmen, not three wicketkeepers!

  • anthony on May 31, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    Prateek... Where was Mathew Sinclair born? There ARE foreign players who are playing in the domestic competition in NZ, and once they have played for the allowed period of eligibility they can play for NZ. Kruger Van Wyk & Johann Myburgh from Canterbury were both from SA yet their allegance is with NZ, Colin de Grandhomme is from Zim playing for Auckland... same thing. We might not have the quality of foreign players coming through as other countries like England, but we've got them. Plenty of the under 19 team are playing the domestic comp and will make a splash in time!

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    If im ever asked to make a world XI team, i'd have 11 Vettoris!

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