Veteran flatters to deceive in recent times December 16, 2005

Former coach calls for McMillan axing

Cricinfo staff



Craig McMillan was a shadow of his former self in the series against Australia © Getty Images
Craig McMillan's woeful batting form in recent times has prompted David Trist, a former New Zealand and Canterbury coach, to call for his sacking from the national side.

McMillan, who contributed just 20 runs from three innings in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy against Australia, has been called by Trist as a batsman failing to deliver the goods. "I've been a tremendous supporter of Macca over the years, but I believe the bell is tolling for him now. He just hasn't delivered of late," Trist told the New Zealand Herald. "At times he does not seem to bat to a plan and if there is one it's hard to work out. There was a lack of conviction about his last innings in Christchurch that concerned me."

Trist, who coached New Zealand from 1999 to 2001, offered the name of Mathew Sinclair, who has played as both opener and middle-order batsman for his country, as a suitable replacement. Sinclair performed credibly during New Zealand A's tour to Sri Lanka during September and October, and Trist has cited the upcoming series against Sri Lanka and West Indies as the ideal platform to finetune the squad for the 2007 World Cup.

Another name highlighting the domestic scene is that of Jesse Ryder, the Wellington batsmen who has scored 133 and 79 to get his season off to a flier. With McMillan out of sorts, and the struggling Hamish Marshall, with 47 ODI caps, getting a five-ball duck to go with a 4 against Central Districts in his last match, Ryder has been marked out as a potential name for the upcoming one-day matches against Sri Lanka.

However, Vaughn Johnson, the Wellington coach, has quelled rumours that Ryder is set for the international stage. "There is a lot of talk about Jesse Ryder at the moment, but I think the guy needs to be left alone to have another season of domestic cricket," Johnson told a Wellington daily. "If he has that, then I think he might be a contender for next year. He's only a kid and he hasn't got much of a domestic one-day record."

Ryder, 21, has scored 564 runs at 22 at State Shield level but his first-class record is far more impressive with 1369 runs at close to 50, including a highest score of 236.

New Zealand host Sri Lanka for a five-match one-day series beginning December 31.

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