New Zealand news August 8, 2012

New Zealand batsmen must be 'accountable' - Wright

ESPNcricinfo staff
30

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • dalboy12 on August 8, 2012, 23:21 GMT

    Our batsman so often score between 50-100, in our cricketing history only Martin Crowe has a decent amount of test centuries in about 17. the present batsman are just like the ones we have had always had --- they score great 50's but not enough 100s. McCullum has 6 centuries yet 23 fifties and Taylor 6 centuries for 16 fifties. Looks like Guptill is going the same way with 2 centuries yet 11 fifites. I have no idea why this has always been the case with NZ Batsman, but its a long term problem - check out Stephen Flemings stats. Our batsman have the talent, its just we need more guys that can score 20+ centuries like all the other top nations have.

  • tompuffin on August 8, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    Totally agree with Wright. The chaps criticizing our bowling attack a la Vettori and seamers must also realize that it is our batting that has failed us time and time again. Even the world class SA and English attacks would struggle to defend sub 200 totals over a day, especially against a WI squad full of powerful clean hitters, and the in form Gayle and Samuels. It saddens me to check up on a match, see that NZ is doing well, and then come back and find that they've lost 7 wickets for 20 odd runs. That is absolutely shameful, especially when it just happens over (WI series all out 154), over (SA series 6 wickets score stuck on 137) and AUS (saved by a great bowling performance). It's about time the boys actually played with some sense of responsibility, we may not be the largest fan base, but I can tell you that many black caps fans are certainly dedicated, I woke up before 4am on all of the WI tests just to get a good glimpse of the game. Please, stop letting us down.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 8, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    I am really astonished at the failures of such a talented Black Caps unit. I mean they should have done better against an average WI team (with all respect to them). I am afraid what will become to NZ following their Indian tour. Team India is a monster at home. The last time NZ were here, they were obliterated. I just hope the series against India would be a fair affair. I want a good, strong NZ team. They are so professional and full hearted at any sport they choose to play. I wish them good luck.

  • on August 8, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Really sad to see NZ going through a drought in talents. I grew up watching the likes of Martin Crowe, Greatbatch, Ken Rutherford, Flemming, Astle, McMillan, Cairns and Bond. And now even Chris Harris will outform as a specialist batsman over any of the current crop. I hope they recover soon since over the years the NZ has given us some really entertaining cricket.

  • Lovedegame on August 8, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    I really wish NZ cricket all the best , they have not only hired the worst head of cricket John Buchanan but they have made him in charge of all aspect is it because of his past resume or cause he is Aussie. I know for a fact they are going to pay for his decisions dearly. I really wish them live up to their expectations. Now they are coming to India oh mann i hope India play their U19 team i mean its a going to be brutal if otherwise

  • on August 8, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    John Wright, please come bck to coach India! we miss youuuuu

  • on August 8, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    if they can put a decent total on board , the likes of Bracewell, Boult and Martin can trouble India especially now as the matches are in monsoon time and the wickets may just have some juice in them . Mcmullum should bat may be at 5 or 6 and they can try willamson at 3 who played quite well in the last series .

  • leosaling on August 8, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @ Sudheer Deoli - In the 90s we were poor, surely you mean the 80s and 00s.

    We have star players or at least players who believe they are stars. We stand now being considerably less then the sum of our parts.

    Many had hoped that Wright would set things straight, thanks to the board this chance is blown, so he rightly points out that culpability is down to the player

  • leosaling on August 8, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    @youfoundmeout. How can you say Wrighties analysis is rubbish! It is one thing to say that our administrators are no good, that much we know since Fleming was dumped as captain and Bond was hung out to dry. We aren't alone there. We've never had a brilliant player base, and on paper we're better now than for a long time (go back to Astle, Richardson, Styris days= all bowlers)

    But the point Wright makes is fundamental. When its time to stand up & be counted, players go missing. butfor pats on backs, head in the clouds

    Players talk, think but don't do. Minds are stuck on IPL contracts, Kanes 100, Taylor "we're on top", but heads aren't on the job, no focus & not on the present moment. We're continuously stuck in the nervous 90s projecting the glory of the century while cripled in the fear of getting out, but not the next ball. Too much premeditation, prima donnation no focus.

    We collapse from a good position after someones blabbed to the media. Application is at fault not ability.

  • on August 8, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    I feel bad about the team also, especially the senior batsmen should have done better. but one needs to keep in mind the positives. in the second test they had a chance to win it with a good first innings lead, which the bowlers provided. As for the bowlers, there are positives with Boult, Bracewell and Wagner looking like a good combination.

  • on August 8, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    New Zealand never had too many star player in a team and the phrase describing the team in 90s was 'a collective team effort'. But i guess not having a star player has led Kiwis in this situation. They don't have at least two players who could turn matches on their head..

  • mikriket on August 8, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    McMullum's inconsistancy, even when he's having a better time than now, rules him out as a top batsman. He's an illusion. He has to go back to wicketkeeping and batting at 7. But where does this leave us-virtually without any batsman worthy of his name. Guptil is the only one who justifies his place in the time (perhapr Williamson) , all the rest are just not up to standard/ Bring in a new generation who can bat!! The BLackcaps are just not up to standard

  • Inzamam75 on August 8, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    @youfoundme, you make some valid points but we are constantly told how belligerent and brilliant McCullum is, how explosive Taylor is and how they are "world class". Our top order can be held entirely responsible for our poor showing in West Indies. Our bowlers again gave us a sniff at something and when we needed a solid effort with the bat we were nowhere to be seen. You can not honestly tell me that Ross Taylor played appropriate cricket in the second dig in Jamaica? This is our captain when he has spoken before the test of the need to score big runs and his reply is to last 2 balls and waft away at an innocuous delivery second ball. Great knock. Again. There are a group of players who have been part of the set up for the last 6 years who need to go, they are a cancer to the squad.

  • youfoundme on August 8, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I'm sorry, but this is ludicrous. For starters, New Zealand's batsman aren't of the highest quality and therefore, can't be held entirely responsible for our losses. We would have required some form of warm-up game(s) before commencing the series to be considered "prepared". Secondly, management could have been a bit more realistic with their player selection/organisation, because in my opinion, that was a huge deciding factor throughout the entire series. There's no denying that we are an average/weak side, against many factors such as spin or pure pace. But whoever is making the major decisions up above, is surely accountable - but not taking the fall when the side fails to perform. Pay me half of whoever it is making the calls, and I'll see New Zealand to the top of the rankings. The potential is there, you just have to utilise it in a smart way; which NZC clearly lack.

  • amclean on August 8, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    NZ Cricket should have put all its resources into the series in the Caribbean - they owed to fans to try to win it. Instead they were too tight to give Wright any form of warm-up, they left out their most senior player (McCullum), the priortised county cricket over the national side (Franklin), and they didn't use their best wicketkeeper (McCullum) in the final ODIs. And, unforgiveably, they let Wright go less than two years into the job. If the message from the top is so poor, it's not surprising the players don't show the qualities Wright talks about.

  • 512fm on August 8, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    Its an utter disgrace this team represents our country. I'd rather have guys out there that will wear their heart on their sleeve for their country than primadonnas who just don't care at all (cough...McCullum). It should be a privilege not a right to represent your country.

  • nzcricket174 on August 8, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    What a joke of a cricket team. The only problem is we roll Zimbabwe an Bangladesh but get rolled by everyone else.

  • MrPontingToYou on August 8, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    pathetic display by the whole team. you know your batting is a joke when mccullum comes in at 3. nz should'nt play tests until they become capable of producing the quality of cricket required.

  • Pablo123 on August 8, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    They'll be back - a pretty good side on their day. But one feels NZ cricket is in a slump now. When they come here (SA) at the end of the year, we still expect a good contest, but they are going to have to pick their socks up big time to compete.

  • MNHasan on August 8, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    New zealand cricket is decreasing day by day. I think this NZ team is even worse than zimbabwe.

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  • MNHasan on August 8, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    New zealand cricket is decreasing day by day. I think this NZ team is even worse than zimbabwe.

  • Pablo123 on August 8, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    They'll be back - a pretty good side on their day. But one feels NZ cricket is in a slump now. When they come here (SA) at the end of the year, we still expect a good contest, but they are going to have to pick their socks up big time to compete.

  • MrPontingToYou on August 8, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    pathetic display by the whole team. you know your batting is a joke when mccullum comes in at 3. nz should'nt play tests until they become capable of producing the quality of cricket required.

  • nzcricket174 on August 8, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    What a joke of a cricket team. The only problem is we roll Zimbabwe an Bangladesh but get rolled by everyone else.

  • 512fm on August 8, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    Its an utter disgrace this team represents our country. I'd rather have guys out there that will wear their heart on their sleeve for their country than primadonnas who just don't care at all (cough...McCullum). It should be a privilege not a right to represent your country.

  • amclean on August 8, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    NZ Cricket should have put all its resources into the series in the Caribbean - they owed to fans to try to win it. Instead they were too tight to give Wright any form of warm-up, they left out their most senior player (McCullum), the priortised county cricket over the national side (Franklin), and they didn't use their best wicketkeeper (McCullum) in the final ODIs. And, unforgiveably, they let Wright go less than two years into the job. If the message from the top is so poor, it's not surprising the players don't show the qualities Wright talks about.

  • youfoundme on August 8, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I'm sorry, but this is ludicrous. For starters, New Zealand's batsman aren't of the highest quality and therefore, can't be held entirely responsible for our losses. We would have required some form of warm-up game(s) before commencing the series to be considered "prepared". Secondly, management could have been a bit more realistic with their player selection/organisation, because in my opinion, that was a huge deciding factor throughout the entire series. There's no denying that we are an average/weak side, against many factors such as spin or pure pace. But whoever is making the major decisions up above, is surely accountable - but not taking the fall when the side fails to perform. Pay me half of whoever it is making the calls, and I'll see New Zealand to the top of the rankings. The potential is there, you just have to utilise it in a smart way; which NZC clearly lack.

  • Inzamam75 on August 8, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    @youfoundme, you make some valid points but we are constantly told how belligerent and brilliant McCullum is, how explosive Taylor is and how they are "world class". Our top order can be held entirely responsible for our poor showing in West Indies. Our bowlers again gave us a sniff at something and when we needed a solid effort with the bat we were nowhere to be seen. You can not honestly tell me that Ross Taylor played appropriate cricket in the second dig in Jamaica? This is our captain when he has spoken before the test of the need to score big runs and his reply is to last 2 balls and waft away at an innocuous delivery second ball. Great knock. Again. There are a group of players who have been part of the set up for the last 6 years who need to go, they are a cancer to the squad.

  • mikriket on August 8, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    McMullum's inconsistancy, even when he's having a better time than now, rules him out as a top batsman. He's an illusion. He has to go back to wicketkeeping and batting at 7. But where does this leave us-virtually without any batsman worthy of his name. Guptil is the only one who justifies his place in the time (perhapr Williamson) , all the rest are just not up to standard/ Bring in a new generation who can bat!! The BLackcaps are just not up to standard

  • on August 8, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    New Zealand never had too many star player in a team and the phrase describing the team in 90s was 'a collective team effort'. But i guess not having a star player has led Kiwis in this situation. They don't have at least two players who could turn matches on their head..