West Indies in New Zealand 2008-09 December 9, 2008

New coach Moles makes early moves

Cricinfo staff
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Jesse Ryder is happy with his switch from three to five for the West Indies series © Getty Images
 

New Zealand's coach Andy Moles spent his first day in charge switching things around to continue the changes after John Bracwell's exit. The major alteration was confirming Daniel Flynn's elevation from No. 6 to three, a decision which pushes Jesse Ryder down to five, for Thursday's first Test against West Indies in Dunedin.

Batting has been a long-standing concern for New Zealand and Moles, the former Warwickshire opener, is determined to find the right answer. "Flynny will go to No. 3, we just think his skill set is best suited to seeing off the new ball," Moles said in the Dominion Post.

"We all know that we have a really strong middle and lower order and that Jesse is a destructive player. Exposing him to the ball a little bit later given the way he plays will be more dangerous."

Ryder, who seemed much better than the 70 runs he managed in four innings in Australia, was happy with the switch. "It's where I see myself batting," he said. "I felt I had to pull my game back a little bit [at No. 3] so batting at No. 5 will give me the chance to express myself a bit. The bonus is the ball won't be doing as much and I'll be able to get out there and play some shots."

It appears that Moles will take over the batting coaching duties from Mark O'Neill, who was in charge in Australia. The team also has a new manager, with Craig Ross stepping in for Lindsay Crocker.

Mark Gillespie has replaced Chris Martin as the attack leader after being let go from the conclusion of the Australia tour so he could play first-class games for Wellington. "It is a job I have been successful at for Wellington and it is my preferred bowling position," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."