New Zealand news

Vettori set to miss England Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 30, 2013

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

Daniel Vettori at the New Zealand team hotel, World Twenty20, Colombo, September 14, 2012
The wait on the sidelines continues for Daniel Vettori © Associated Press

Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand left-arm spinner, is unlikely to be fit in time for the home Test series against England, which begins on March 6. Vettori is recovering from an Achilles tendon strain, and hopes to return to Test cricket on New Zealand's tour to England in May.

While he could be playing competitive cricket in a month's time, Vettori said he would not be able to play the long format right away. He told Fairfax NZ News that he was targeting a March return to List A cricket: "I'm hoping to be available for selection for Northern Districts' one-day campaign [that begins on February 28], and then whatever happens from there happens. I won't be able to play any four-day cricket, so the Test matches against England may be a stretch for me.

"That [New Zealand's tour of England] is probably a more realistic goal, but Achilles are funny things, they come and go with the pain and I need to prove to not only the selectors, but myself, that I can manage back-to-back days of cricket. That's the plan, but I'll just see how I go."

Vettori suffered the Achilles problem on and off over the last year, and also picked up a groin injury during the tour of the West Indies in July-August. That groin injury kept him out of the India Test series that followed, but he made a comeback in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September, where the Achilles heel injury recurred at the end of the group stage of matches. He missed the rest of the tournament and tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa subsequently, and is currently undergoing a four-month rehabilitation programme.

Vettori said he was about "three-quarters of the way through" that programme. A New Zealand Cricket spokesperson reportedly backed that up, saying Vettori was progressing well and his fitness would be reassessed in two to three weeks before a decision is taken on his intended return to domestic cricket in March.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 2, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

KP must be over the moon! Left-arm spinners to KP are like a bad dose of achilles tendonitis to fast bowlers.

Posted by SameOld on (February 2, 2013, 2:28 GMT)

OK, so we've established that Vettori is not as effective at taking wickets when he doesn't get any support from his bowling colleagues - What a surprise! And he doesn't bat as effectively when forced up the order and comes in at 4/50 or so - Again, I am shocked.

Does anyone else think wistfully of his reliable 2 to 2.5 runs an over bowling while watching Patel and co serve up two boundary-magnets every over? I sure do. I bet Southee, Boult and Bracewell do, too.

Posted by dr.thirsty on (January 31, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

Vettori will undoubtedly be missed as, lets face it, you can't buy his sort of experience and knowledge at the local shops. He has a presence about him and is respected by his opponents. As others have pointed out, he is also a potent lower order batsman. Where I disagree with some posters here is his importance as a spinner. I think even his most ardent supporters would have to admit that he hasn't truly spun a cricket ball for at least 3 years now. He puts hardly any revs on the ball and relies on accurcay and a sprinkling of darts to contain the opposition. So, a good slow bowler, but no longer a spinner as such. Have to say though, I have great admiration for him and for his career. A guy its hard not to like.

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (January 31, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

Sorry to those bored by detailed statistical analysis (I mean that) but my numbers suggest that Vettori is either out of form (highly possible) or, a darker concern of mine, losing a bit of effect.

You will see, if you bothered reading it lol, that his batting has remained handy, especially at the rate in which he scores his runs, throughout the last 5 years (his overall average of 37 is excellent for what he is), however his bowling seems to move more and more toward containment only. His 189 balls per wicket since 01/11/2011 is alarming, as that's 220.3 overs he's sent down for 7 wickets.

In a period spanning 19/12/2003 - 23/03/2010 Vettori scored 2877 runs @ 41.69. That's on par with A Strauss & M Waugh. So those who say Vettori shouldn't play as he doesn't take wickets are missing some of the story.

He used to be, unfairly I believe, called a world-class spinner. He isn't and never was. What he is is a tremendously handy cricketer, one NZ is better with than without, esp. now.

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (January 31, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

@Tony Payne - whilst the figures you refer to are accurate, I wish to draw your attention to the following:

Vettori since and including the test 04/01/2008 (vs. Bang):

Bowl: 123 wickets @ 34.63 runs per wicket (7 x 5wi, s/rate 85.00 balls per wicket, e/r 2.44 runs per over)

Bat: 2,156 runs @ 37.17 runs per dismissal (4 x 100s, 10 x 50s, s/rate 61.42 runs per 100 balls)

Vettori since and including the test 15/02/2010 (vs. Bang):

Bowl: 42 wickets @ 40.57 runs per wicket (2 x 5wi, s/rate 102.81 balls per wicket, e/r 2.37 runs per over)

Bat: 714 runs @ 28.56 runs per dismissal (1 x 100, 2 x 50s, s/rate 61.29 runs per 100 balls)

Vettori since and including the test 01/11/2011 (vs. Zim):

Bowl: 7 wickets @ 75.29 runs per wicket (0 x 5wi, s/rate 189.00 balls per wicket, e/r 2.39 runs per over)

Bat: 278 runs @ 27.80 runs per dismissal (1 x 100, 1 x 50, 61.37 runs per 100 balls)

His bowling is in substantial decline, and his batting, whilst still handy, is also moving the wrong way.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (January 30, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

Hey I think Jonesy2 is right; NZ are a good team. I think Bracewell is a decent cricketer. I seem to remember him dismantling the Aussie batting line up in Australia not very long ago. Mind you, that isn't saying a lot these days.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 30, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

@davidpk on (January 30 2013, 12:38 PM GMT) Ironically they also drew their last series in Australia too

Posted by JG2704 on (January 30, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

@Tony Payne on (January 30 2013, 07:20 AM GMT) I think you're probably right. Also re his bowling average , at least half his matches would be in conditions less favourable to spin and he's not exactly got a potent attack to work alongside

Posted by redmedicine on (January 30, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

davidpk, how soon we forget that NZ just drew a test series in Sri Lanka a couple months ago.

Posted by first_slip on (January 30, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

Dont worry, he will be available for IPL

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 30, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

jonesy2 are you speaking with your NZ hat on or the adopted one. it coud be a close series most in NZ are and we went down in the 1st test last series. i cannot remember the last series when they won or drew so how they start favs is a strange thing to think or say its just come to mind, NZ drew the series against the aussies.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 30, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

they will miss him both for his bowling and his stubborn late order batter. similar to swann that said as eng have 2 other top class spinners we have other options

Posted by amclean on (January 30, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

Ease back in slowly before the IPL - nice.

Posted by alesana85 on (January 30, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Agree that Dan Vettori can't take wickets in a test match. His biggest problem seems to be changing up his stock delivery too often as he does in the limited overs format. Still would have him in the team as an all rounder if he was fit. His batting in the last couple of years is second only to Ross Taylor. His experience would greatly benefit the test side & his presence would boost morale.

Posted by Erebus26 on (January 30, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

Vettori is a big loss really. He's past his best but he's still the best spinner NZ have. In addition to you have his effective lower order batting that brings balance to the side. I hope though he's fit for the return tour to England. With Patel being ineffective in SA I hope Bruce Martin gets a go in his place - being a left armer it's a like for like replacement.

Posted by nickinsingapore on (January 30, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

jonesy2 you are having a laugh and I like your warped sense of humour!

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 30, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

I feel dissapointed for Vettori and NZ. NZ would have hugely benefited with his experience and all-round abilities. I still hope NZ turn-up a good show against so called test preferring team England.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (January 30, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

Ah no, Danny V has been one of my favourite cricketers over the years, always love watching him bowl. It will be OK, so long as Ian Smith is in the commentary box, otherwise I will be seriously considering staying in bed!

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 30, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

would still have NZ down as favs if southee and taylor play. on paper they are obviously far more talented. but its just whether they can be a good unit or not

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 30, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

shame if he does not play as it is always more satisfying to beat a full strength team.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Taylor is not "averaging around 15" in his last 3 first-class games. He scored 21 today against Auckland, 4 and 52 in his previous game, and 142 and 74 in the game before that (the last Test v SL). That's an average of nearly 60.

Vettori is still our best spinning option in Tests, and his batting is just as important. I'd much rather have Vettori at 7 or 8 than Bracewell or Astle.

If Vettori came back for ODIs and T20s, would McCullum get dropped or would NZ play 2 spinners?

Posted by   on (January 30, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

@Jordanious77 - Your comments are without basis. You forget that Vettori is one of the worlds best all rounders. He is a proven performer and would be included in most test teams in the world. Over the last 4 years he has averaged 37 with the bat (average only second to Ross Taylor in the NZ team) and taken the most wickets for a NZer by a mile at a respectable test average of 34.

Posted by Jordanious77 on (January 30, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

Vettori isn't a test player anymore anyway. I'd pick him for my ODI and T20 side but only because he restrict the run rate and puts the batsman under pressure. In Tests he can't take wickets so we won't be missing out on much.

He hasn't played any cricket in a LONG time either, even if he was fit enough to play, i doubt he would be any help. It takes a while to get back into some form. Taylor in his last 3 First Class matches (averaging around 15) is proving that. He wouldnt have had enough time to get back into form so again, i dont think we will be missing out on much.

I'd rather see Todd Astle given another shot. Maybe bring in Nethula who has been looking decent in first class (with the bat also)

I think Williamson has proven himself to be another potential slow-bowling threat for england. Despite being a part-time bowler i think having Williamson in the team will be a real bowling option. Williamson playing might allow us to play with an extra bat or 2.

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