New Zealand news November 8, 2011

Vettori glad he quit captaincy, one-dayers

ESPNcricinfo staff

Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand left-arm spinner, has said he enjoyed playing his first Test since resigning from the captaincy after the 2011 World Cup. Vettori has also retired from ODIs and Twenty20 internationals, so he joined the squad in Zimbabwe after the limited-over series. He took eight wickets in New Zealand's 34-run win in Bulawayo and said missing the one-dayers may have had a role in his performance.

"The reason I made the decision [to quit limited-overs cricket] was to spend a little bit more time at home and hopefully freshen up my bowling," Vettori told "I came into this series feeling pretty fresh, and a two-day warm-up game is enough to get ready for a Test match. Sometimes it's a good thing if batsmen haven't seen you for a while and you haven't played the one-day series, so hopefully that played a part in my performance as well.

"Not being captain takes a bit of stress off my performance, with the fact that I can just worry about myself and hopefully help out some of the younger guys."

Ross Taylor was appointed Vettori's successor and Vettori said he was impressed with Taylor's captaincy during the Test. "Ross understands my game and how to use me. I've enjoyed stepping back and just helping him out rather than having to be the driving force in most situations. He did things that I wouldn't have done and they really worked well - the Guptill wicket [part-time offspinner Martin Guptill dismissed Tino Mawoyo on the fifth day] I thought was fantastic."

Zimbabwe came very close to chasing down the 366-run target in Bulawayo thanks to a century from their captain Brendan Taylor. Only a late collapse of six wickets for 44 runs denied them victory. Vettori said he was not surprised by the fight that Zimbabwe, who only recently returned to playing Tests, put up, particularly because he knew Brendan Taylor was in supreme form.

"We knew we would have a tough time getting through their top order, particularly with [Brendan] Taylor there. We saw how well he played in the one-day series and the innings that he played [in Bulawayo] would rival any innings that the best batsmen in the world could play. We realised what a special innings it was, and that's what put us on the back foot. There aren't that many guys in world cricket who can play that well, and it took that sort of innings to take the wind out of our sails early on, but fortunately we hung in there and produced when it counted."

Zimbabwe's decision to go for the runs rather than play for a draw made for an intriguing final day and Vettori said it had been a great Test thanks to Zimbabwe's attacking attitude. "They kept having a go which put us under pressure but in some ways it probably opened the door for us as well. I think if they'd shut up shop early on that wicket it would have been difficult for us to get wickets, but good on them for trying. I think everyone would have sat back and said that this was a great Test match; for it to go into the final six overs, people want to see those sorts of Tests. "You could see the crowd develop over the day thinking there was a victory in the offing for Zimbabwe, but I think they'll go home saying it was a really good Test match"

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Grover on November 11, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    @Grundfos Over the last 5 years Vettori's test ave is 15 runs worse in the so-called spinners' innings (1st & 2nd it's 26, 3rd & 4th it's 41). Over 35 tests that is, so you'd hope he will actually use his tests-only decision to address it with something a bit 'out there' for him if need be. As a fan of spinners, long-serving ones being 15 runs the other way isn't uncommon.

  • Ryan on November 10, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    My team (if all fit): McCullum, Guptill, Williamson, Taylor(c), Ryder, Brownlie(looks a good player), Vettori, Young(wk), Southee, Bracewell, Martin.

  • Ryan on November 10, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    @Aaron Green: That is a bit harsh on the Phantom (Martin). This is the guy who only a year ago knocked over the the top half of arguably the worlds best batting line-up and nearly bowled NZ to victory over India (if only we could get Harbajan out). He still has something left in him and deserves to go out on his own terms after one last go at 'the old enemy'.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    I think Black Cap 007 is almost on the mark, one change to that team for me and we have the best team we could put out right now. I would play Hamish Bennett instead of Chris Martin, I have the utmost respect for what Chris has done for the Black Caps, but I believe it is time to let him go, Bennett offers genuine pace and wicket taking ability, Chris Martin for me has become to easy for the best batsman to play in the last five years you just need to look at how many runs the aussie batsman scored against him last series, for me Mills, Southee, Bracewell on a first morning Gabba track offering seam and movement would be great to watch the following is the best team NZ have if all fit. McCallum, Guptil, Williamson, Taylor, Ryder, Young, Vettori, Mills, Southee, Bracewell, Bennett.

  • Satish on November 9, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    He is a very good bowler constantly challenging the batsman with his variation in flight and speed and the armers.. Unfortunately all of those if not good enough to give him match turning spells against better nations.. Is it due to lack of stronger bowler at the other end?

  • Ryan on November 9, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Good point by Black_Cap_007.

    Swann has closed out test wins for England (with 3rd/4th inns wickets of 4+) about eight times already in a 3-year test career. Vettori just once against a top 8 nation in a 14-year career??

    Aside from 'NZ's batting lets him down', what is the real issue there? He actually prefers fresher pitches for his skidding-on LBWs? He doesn't get enough turn and bounce (with his one-fingered grip) to bring the slips or bat-pads into play, and is too conservative by nature to 'muck around' and be more experimental?

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    He is greedy. he wants to emulate hadlee that's why quit one day & t20.

  • Dennis on November 9, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    I think it is possible for Vettori to be the first man to get 5000 runs , 500 wickets , he has got a least 4/5 years to do it .

  • Tim on November 9, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    We definitely need daniel luca vettori but it would be great if he could be more penetrating in the fourth innings. 3 wickets was pretty good but i think bracewell was the real reason we got there in the end on that eventful final day. interesting to see who'll start the next match. im thinkin, if all injuries are sorted, the team will be: McCallum, Guptil, Williamson, Taylor, Ryder, Young (WK), Vettori, Southee, Bracewell, Martin, Mills. Maybe theyll substitue a bowler for a batter but i wouldnt. southee can bat.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    Great player one the best spinner around for a long time now. I don't understand all these so called test players only, they retire from ODI and T/20 for their country, but they all play in IPL/Champions league. That tells me its all about money these days, I gues money talks.

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