New Zealand news June 19, 2013

Hesson extends support to Ronchi after poor start

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has come out in support of wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, who has had a torrid start with the bat for his new international team. Ronchi, who had played four ODIs for Australia in 2008 before switching countries to revive his international career, was handed the responsibility of opening for New Zealand in England - in the teams' bilateral series and the Champions Trophy - but has only managed 47 runs in six matches, including four single-digit scores.

"We'll review things with Luke. He is certainly a player that we like, in terms of how he goes about things," Hesson was quoted as saying by Fairfax NZ News. "No doubt he has had a tough start, but we pick players because we think they've got qualities that will serve them well over a period of time."

"We picked him as an opener to play that aggressive role. Luke has had most of his success in four-day cricket back home [for Wellington] in the middle order. In one-day and T20 cricket in the middle he didn't set the world alight, but certainly showed some ability when he did bat at the top in terms of that destructive nature."

Another worry for New Zealand has been the fitness of spinner Daniel Vettori, who played all of New Zealand's Champions Trophy games but experienced discomfort due to his troublesome Achilles tendon, which has bothered him for almost a year.

Hesson said the injury will have to be carefully assessed. "He did very well in the tournament but there's no doubt he struggled through it so that's not going to be a sustainable option the way it is at the moment. We've got to do some further examination on that Achilles and see what we can do to make it easier. We've got to make that assessment, as does Dan, and work out what we look to do."