Vettori warns against complacency
Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, has warned against complacency on the eve of the second Test against Pakistan in Wellington. New Zealand emerged victors by 32 runs in a tense game in Dunedin but a 1-0 lead in the series, said Vettori, speaking from past experience, was no reason to let their guard down.
"There is need for improvement, and a need for us not to get caught up in that [the win in the first Test]," Vettori said. "There is a series that needs to be won, we went 1-0 up against England and lost the series by resting on our laurels. There is a desire in the need to celebrate the Dunedin win but it's not the end of the summer."
England beat New Zealand 2-1 last year, after losing the first Test in Hamilton. It was in Wellington that they levelled the series before going on to win the rubber in Napier, the venue for the next Test against Pakistan. Both teams, however, are short of practice due to persistent rain.
"We might get some assistance from the conditions and the ball might seam around with the all the rain we've had," Vettori said. "It's been a difficult staying indoors. It's a challenge I suppose and we should be better prepared than Pakistan in the limited time we've had."
With Shane Bond out of the series due to an abdominal strain, Chris Martin leads the pace attack. Daryl Tuffey will take Bond's place in the XI while Tim Southee has been included in the 14-man squad to come as a cover in the event of an injury. "Over the past couple of years, I've looked at Martin as my strike bowler and have always thrown the ball to him," Vettori said. "In the last Test I had the luxury of having two strike bowlers, with Iain [O'Brien] and myself clogging up one end and those two attacking. Depending on the conditions, maybe Daryl [Tuffey] could do that."
Vettori also saw a greater role for the allrounder Grant Elliott, who bowled just two overs in the first Test and has, so far, failed to replicate his good bowling record in ODIs in the longer format. "There's hope that Grant can have a bigger role," he said. "He's worked harder to get ready for that. If I can manage those three seamers, that should be handy."
The Basin Reserve in Wellington will be hosting it's 50th Test, and Vettori said he had plenty of fond memories of playing at the venue. "It's one of my favourite grounds. It's got a lot of history and its purely a cricket ground." He singled out the Test match against India in 1999 as among his best memories, when New Zealand fought back from a difficult position to win the game. "When you play a Test match like the last one in Dunedin, you remember them and also the grounds you played them in," he said.