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New Zealand batsmen must be 'accountable' - Wright

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 8, 2012

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John Wright speaks to his team on the eve of the second Test, Hobart, December 8, 2011
John Wright: "You just can't come off [after being dismissed] and wave it away with phrases like 'that's the way I play'." © AFP
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John Wright, the outgoing New Zealand coach, has signed off from his role with the team with stern words for its batsmen. The New Zealand batsmen, Wright said, have to be "accountable" for their on-field actions.

"You have to have self-responsibility and be accountable for your actions in the middle," Wright was quoted as saying by Fairfax NZ News. "You just can't come off [after being dismissed] and wave it away with phrases like 'that's the way I play' and 'I didn't quite execute'.

"You have to be very brutal in your self-analysis and very honest. It's [also] very helpful if your team-mates are brutally honest with you and if you play an inappropriate shot at any stage, then you know that if you go back into that dressing room you're going to not exactly get a welcome."

The tour of the Caribbean was Wright's final assignment with New Zealand, in which they were blanked 0-2 in the Twenty20 and Test series' and lost the ODI series 1-4. In the one-dayers, none of the New Zealand batsmen aggregated 200 runs, while in the Tests, none of the batsmen, apart from Martin Guptill, touched 130 overall. In what could have been the most embarrassing result of the tour, however, the batsmen struggled in the warm-up game prior to the Tests, against the WICB President's XI, before narrowly avoiding an innings defeat.

Wright had decided not to extend his coaching contract following differences with New Zealand's director of cricket, John Buchanan. Mike Hesson, who previously coached domestic side Otago and Kenya, takes over as coach for New Zealand's next assignment - the tour of India that begins on August 23 - and Wright said he hoped Hesson would get "what he needs" to help lift New Zealand.

Wright thanked the fans for their support during his stint. "It has been an incredible privilege for me to coach my country and I've had fantastic support from the cricketing public," he said. "I very much appreciate that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by playinrain on (August 10, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

The problem is kiwi batsmen average too low across the the top six. If they can't bat 6 hours for a 100, they need to get to fifty twice as often as they do. Mediocre is a NZ benchmark I hate to say. They are actually better (talent wise) than the results show...they just lack discipline/mindset in kicking on from 30...The NZ players always do just enough to avoid being dropped in the nick of time. It's frustrating being a Kiwi supporter, and seeing the same hacks and over-rated players continued with. IMHO, Taylor needs to take a really good look at himself. He is either well out of form, or more dangerously, completely overestimates his own ability.

Posted by amclean on (August 9, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

This is the best read/debate on NZ Cricket for ages. Thinking about it more, it really is astonishing that a player can say "that is the way I play" and I suspect this applies in 2-3 cases. Perhaps it works on the beach but it clearly doesn't in Tests. These guys are not talented enough to take that approach. Adam Gilchrist was but he averaged 47 (with 17 tons and batting at 7), which is better than Crowe, Richardson and Andrew Jones - our three best batsmen in the last 30 years.

Posted by portman on (August 9, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

We certainly are pretty ordinary at the moment, particularly the batting. Consistently poor performances should lead to players being axed, particularly senior players who should lead. For me it comes back to the days when NZ cricket was all about taking the pace off the ball. This attitude didn't produce fast bowlers, therefore our first class top order batsmen didn't learn there trade as they do in other countries. Now we have have opening bats who are hopeless against even modest new ball attacks and these days most attacks are not modest. The 80's are long gone, good luck to John Wright

Posted by   on (August 9, 2012, 3:25 GMT)

New Zealand has a problem that most countries in the bottom of the rankings have. They do not have one single batsman who is capable of playing the whole 50 overs in 1-day cricket, forget test cricket. If they can find a couple of 16-19 year old openers with a good technique, then that is OK as I do not see the current openers lasting long in any form of the game. The need is not flamboyance but a rather Mark Richardson type grinder who will survive till lunch on day 1 of the test match on 8 out of 10 matches.

Posted by balajik1968 on (August 9, 2012, 2:41 GMT)

I am really puzzled by how badly NZ are doing. One step forward three steps back. I understand the talent base is not wide, but it never was. Despite all that, NZ was a pretty dangerous team. As Wright puts it, it is time for the players to introspect. Brendon McCullum is one. Pretty talented, but does not look to build an innings. Ross Taylor is another. Only guys who stick it out are Williamson and Guptill. Two guys can't save the team all the time. It is time for the New Zealand batsman to put a price on their wicket. Doesn't matter if you look stodgy. Substance over style is what is required.

Posted by sawifan on (August 9, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster. I think u need to find out the meaning of the word 'obliterated'. Last series in IND between these 2 sides was much closer than was expected. IND actually had Harbhajan to thanks for saving the 1st test for them, with the bat!!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/464521.html

The 3rd Test was an 'obliteration', sure, but the series could have easily been 1-1. India's dominance at home isn't what it used to be. Even the last time the Aussies were there, the 2-0 scoreline doesn't show the evenness of the games. Once again, could have (probably should have) been 1-1.

Posted by cheesemethod on (August 9, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

The drought of talent is partly the fault of paytv, if young kids cant watch their heros thn there is a lack of inspiration as well as general public support. Take australia for example, free to air tele broadcasts all international cricket, afl and nrl games. Combine that with a small poplation and super short summers (terrible weather) and its no surprise. I also could be wrong but even australian state players get paid a LOT more than black caps players. Funding and facilities certainly help produce talant.

Posted by AvidFanDownUnder on (August 9, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

Its a shame to see such a talented bunch of NZ players perform so ineptly in WI. Yes NZ is probably the smallest test playing nation and yes they probably don't have the best situation at the moment but seriously when has that ever stopped NZ. A country of 4 million is now the world champions in rugby (they are a powerhouse) and when the Kiwis decide to actually apply themselves and fight for their country they no longer represent the flightless birds but instead become a bunch of ferocious warriors who can beat away anything. Adversity usually brings out the best in people and especially so with NZers so I hope they decide to use this as a motivation because they have some really talented players and with a little bit of application they can become the giant killers they were some years ago. Good luck NZ and good luck India, this will be a good tour to start India's international series up again.

Posted by ant72 on (August 9, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

Totally agree with mikriket. Keep the 2 or 3 batsman like Guppy and Kane and maybe taylor and McCullum - only if he keeps and bats 7. Then bring in some of the young players coming through who may take sometime to perform but you will get a team of hungry players eager to do their best. You will not have to put up with the guys that are never going to make it on the international stage consistently. Keep a couple of your better bowlers as well. But lets start again and develop some of these young guys comng through into consistent performers at international level.

Posted by SixFourOut on (August 8, 2012, 23:22 GMT)

The reason the kiwi side has been competitive in the past is that even though they've always had a pretty woeful top 4, they've had the best 7-8-9 in the world and that's let them score 350 runs from 100/5. Now they have the exact same top order problems but no Cairns, McCullum, Oram, Vettori to come in after the top order failures................I think people are kidding themselves to say Macmillan, Fleming etc were better than Taylor, Guptil and co............Fleming never averaged 40 until his last couple of games. The hard truth is; they aren't going to uncover any world class batters in clumps, they're lucky to have Taylor and the rest are very medicore, with McCullum being the most overrated player in the world. Yes, he's dangerous on "his day", just that most days aren't "his".....The kiwis are too accepting of of failure. Ryder is the second best batsmen in the country and they need him there immediately.

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