New Zealand news October 28, 2010

Blunt Greatbatch blasts New Zealand

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand's coach Mark Greatbatch has delivered a candid verdict on the efforts of his players in Bangladesh, declaring that they "played like d****". Greatbatch was also scathing of the top order, suggesting that some of the batsmen simply weren't good enough, and that it was "inexcusable" to lose 4-0 to Bangladesh.

New Zealand play India in a three-match Test series that begins in Ahmedabad next Thursday. Although the format is different, Greatbatch hopes his players can use the Tests to regain some form and pride after the Bangladesh debacle, which resulted in meetings between senior New Zealand Cricket officials and team management.

"When you play badly like that you've got to front up," Greatbatch told LiveSPORT. "It's very devastating. We played like d**** really and I suppose there's one positive thing, we've got a chance next week to actually put it right.

"I think some [of the top order] aren't good enough. I think some think they are better than they are and the third one I think is the mind. We've got to get our mind right and sometimes that requires patience, sometimes it requires being aggressive. What it requires is actually sorting out the cricket smarts and weighing up the situation that you're playing in and we've got some work to do in all those areas."

Part of their plan to address the top-order problems, in the longer format at least, is for Brendon McCullum to move up into the top three for next week's Test. McCullum made 86 in his four ODI innings in Bangladesh and he said it was to be expected that the players would come under the microscope following the disappointing tour.

"I guess when you lose 4-0 in Bangladesh you can't come home and expect a parade," McCullum told the Dominion Post. "We didn't play well and we've just got to cop it sweet. There's no point in crying into your beer about it. You've just got turn the page and move on to the next tour. As long as we learn some lessons it'll probably be good for us. It could be the best or worst thing that could happen."

Following the Ahmedabad Test, New Zealand travel to Hyderabad and Nagpur, and Greatbatch said given India's strong record at home two draws from the series would be a good result. After the Tests there is a five-match ODI series, before the players fly back to New Zealand for a short break before taking on Pakistan at home.