December 24, 2001

New No 3 Vincent has learned from his Hamilton mistake

One of the heroes of Perth, debut century-maker Lou Vincent, won't be falling into the same trap that marked his first Test innings in New Zealand when the second National Bank Test against Bangladesh starts on Boxing Day at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Vincent, who opened the New Zealand innings in Perth, and was then retained for the same job in the first Test against Bangladesh, got himself out first ball when attempting an ambitious hook shot at Hamilton's WestpacTrust Park.

He won't be opening for starters. That job has gone to the recalled Matt Horne who replaced the injured Nathan Astle.

The out-of-form No 3 Mathew Sinclair will drop back into the middle order.

The other change made to the playing XI is that Chris Drum will come into the side with a view to doing the into-the-wind job at the notoriously windy Basin Reserve. Chris Martin will be 12th man.

Vincent said his Hamilton dismissal was a good early lesson in his Test career and he will be looking to play much straighter and get a good sight of the bowling before starting to go for his shots in future matches.

"I'll put Hamilton back in the file for future reference," he said.

"It was a bit of a kick in the guts. I'll just keep training hard to prepare, just like we did in Australia, working on knowing which balls to leave, having a good look and playing in the 'V'.

"It showed my over-confidence," he said.

Vincent, pushed for his view on where his batting future might lie, jokingly suggested being a pinch-hitter but then said: "Ideally it is in the top order.

"I have a lust for the new ball in the top order. Why not get out there early and be aggressive and get runs on the board so our middle-order can get on with it," he said.

No 3 he felt was probably his best bet.

"It is exciting with the new ball and you can get the side into a good position from there. It doesn't worry me at all.

"You get a chance to cool down after being in the field and then come in after the old warhorses [Horne and Mark Richardson] have done their work," he said.

The bad news for Bangladesh from this is that New Zealand are going into the Test match much better prepared for the opposition.

Vincent said: "We are a bit more prepared than we were in Hamilton. We had some thoughts from the guys in the Auckland game but were still not so sure.

"We want to knock these guys over quickly and get home to enjoy some of the leftover Christmas turkey.

"We will have to keep dominating," he said.

There are incentives enough in the New Zealand side to eliminate any complacency concerns.

Horne will be looking for a good score to secure the opening berth on a more permanent basis. Vincent, Stephen Fleming and Sinclair all had disappointing dismissals in Hamilton and will be looking for an obvious improvement.

Meanwhile, Chris Cairns and Shane Bond will be looking to continue their build-up, especially with the one-day tri-series in Australia looming, while Drum has the chance to compensate for the disappointment of his Test debut in Christchurch last summer when he dislocated his shoulder in that game.

After his good showing already in the State Championship, and against Bangladesh for Auckland, he is impressing as a probable inclusion also in the tri-series side.

The main consideration for Bangladesh going into the game is whether they use a spinner, left-armer Enamul Haque, the side's most prolific bowler in first-class cricket to date.

There may also be a temptation to leave leg spinner Mohammad Ashraful as the specialist however, he caused no problems for the New Zealanders in the first Test.

Bangladesh coach Trevor Chappell is nervous going into the match.

He is wary that the New Zealanders have now had a chance to assess the Test newcomers and they will come out with a much more methodical approach in Wellington.

The bowlers had worked out their angles of attack in the second innings and while Wellington was likely to be lower and slower than usual, a legacy of a frustratingly damp summer, they would use conditions to their advantage.

The other factor of concern to the visitors is how they handle the wind if it blows in Wellington.

A wind in Wellington is much more difficult to handle than almost anywhere else in the world and it takes a special kind of bowler to spend much of the day working into it.

It is going to be another tough battle for the Bangladeshis.