South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Centurion November 18, 2007

Vettori lambasts 'inept' performance

Cricinfo staff

Dale Steyn: man of the moment after his 6 for 49 © Getty Images

The New Zealand captain, Daniel Vettori, branded his side's performance against South Africa "inept" after they lost the second Test at Centurion inside three days by an innings and 59 runs.

Prior to this brief two-Test series New Zealand had played eight Tests in two years (to South Africa's 19) and just two in over 12 months. It was, as Vettori admitted, a tough beginning to his tenure as captain.

"It doubles up after the performance we put up at the Wanderers. We thought we could come back and fight a little bit harder here but unfortunately we delivered a similarly inept performance," he said.

"We need to play more Test cricket. It's also got to come down to individuals, to increase skill levels and desire. We need to put performances together against quality opposition. We've got Bangladesh coming up next.

"If we go ahead and win those games it doesn't necessarily mean we've become a good Test team. We've got to put performances together against teams like Australia and South Africa, and England back home in our summer."

The 2-0 series loss relegates New Zealand to seventh in the Test rankings, while South Africa leapfrog India and Pakistan to third spot and close in on England. Though it was undoubtedly a team effort from South Africa, Dale Steyn had the biggest impact on the series with consecutive ten-wicket match hauls. A career-best 6 for 49 today routed New Zealand for a paltry 136.

"I'm just doing what I have to do," he said, "getting the ball in the right places and communicating well with my captain. The guys off the field prepare these things so we can see the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. We have bowled to a plan."

Graeme Smith, his captain, was full of praise for the young colt but insisted that Steyn's success was due in no small part to Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel and Jacques Kallis.

"He's [Steyn] bowled at pace with good control and he's got the ball to swing," he said. "But the other guys have worked around him pretty well which has allowed him to come back at different times and strike. I like to know that he's hungry for more success."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Craig on November 21, 2007, 11:04 GMT

    I'm still not convinced that this is even SA's best team. Andre Nel, while a fierce competitor does not measure up to Pollock, and Pollock's exclusion leaves our batting far too brittle. Kallis isn't going to go big every game, and we need to have a little more depth.

  • Craig on November 21, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    New Zealand's effort against South Africa was feeble, and I am being kind. It matchs their attempt to play test cricket against West Indies at the Basin Reserve in the early 1990s when they were beaten by an innings and over 200 runs. There was no application at all by any of the batsmen: they just do not how to bat sessions. However, I do not believe South Africa are all that great either. Take away the four centuries from Kallis and Amla, and perhaps the teams would be even. If South Africa were playing Australia right now, I believe that the Boks will be lucky to come a distant second. However, after this farce by the 'Dud' Caps is over, the Bangladesh team maybe in with a chance to snare a test victory.

  • Anil on November 20, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    I Think The kiwis are in oneday mode they were really unable to swap there modes & the injuries make the also playes there part, one more thing i want to add that paps doesnot desreve a place ahaed of vincent in the first test that was also a major factor.But i m still with kiwis these things happens, good te see fleming back in the side & showing a good form. Bad start for vettori but there is nothin wrong with the captainsy the batsman lets him down. but still onedayers r left. so ope wll see the old blackcaos

    cheers The Biiggest Fan of The Blackcaps form india Anil

  • James on November 20, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    I am a huge fan of New Zealand cricket, but the recent series reminded me of how far behind in test cricket we are, and it was pretty much every aspect of the game we got dominated in. Our fielding was sloppy at best, our bowling attack reminded me of club cricket, and our batting was atrocious. If the selectors are telling me that the eleven players on the pitch are the best cricketers in our country, i think we have some extremely tough times ahead. Admitedly we have been 'crippled' by injuries, but it showed exactly how vunerable we actually are, when the replacements stepped up. We rely so heavily on players like Fleming, Bond and Vettori, and if they dont play well, 90% of the time, the team doesn't play well. It was a shame that when my country of origin was playing a test match, i spent more time watching Aus vs SL. Which proved to be a far more interesting and exciting match to watch.

  • Michael on November 20, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    Well, sitaram58 I think your message says much more about yourself than it does about the real state of NZ cricket.

    I remember India taking a flogging here in NZ not so long ago and receiving more gracious comments from NZ commentators. I don't think Indian cricket is so strong that you can afford to be so rude about another nation's cricketers.

  • Ross on November 20, 2007, 1:56 GMT

    Hey Sitaram58 if India is so good why have they not beaten NZ in a test match since 1999, let alone win a test series against them?

  • Darren on November 20, 2007, 1:50 GMT

    As an England fan it is a change to see another team getting hammered. Seriously - NZ are disappearing back to the bad old day cricket is not a route to 5-day success! Just look at India and Pakistan...dpent too much time breeding exciting "boom boom" players but failed to truly match WI of 80's and Aus of 90's and beyond. One day cricket is very exciting and refreshing from one perspective (I like to watch it) but Aus aside (as they are very different - spit!) to be good at Tests yo umust play tests - regularly - against the best. R.I.P. Sir Rich, MDC, Cairns et. al. Your boys are not being backed by Cricket NZ management - stop chasing the buck$ and let the men compete!!

  • Steven on November 20, 2007, 0:24 GMT

    Im not convinced with South Africa yet. The way the Kiwis played i could of beaten them on my own with my eyes closed.Its disappointing to see these performances by the Kiwis, but im not surprised because they emphasise far too much on one day cricket. Their priority is one dayers and they wonder why they are getting flogged in tests. Surely there are batsmen in NZ who can bat for a couple of sessions, and if there are any, they need to get these blokes in there ASAP. Its a faulse dawn for South Africa because they can never beat the good teams. They are pretenders. I dont buy all this about Kallis either- just look at the bowling attacks (or lack of them) to see that it wouldnt have been that hard to score against. He needs to do that against the Ozzies in Australia.

  • Thomas on November 19, 2007, 20:41 GMT

    It seems to me all the fans of 20/20 should take a long hard look at themselves.Is it any surprise we can't bat for two sessions given that the dot ball is anathema to most the cricket played. Fleming and vincent played there usual breezy shot filled innings but perhaps they could look at trying to play session by session and occupy the crease and leave the constant big heaves to the tail enders who in our case could do worse than take a leaf from Murali's book and close theie eyes and windmill every ball

  • Aaron on November 19, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    Looks like there are signs of life from a team that isn't Australia. I can't wait until the next time Asutralia and South Africa meet in a test. I just hope it is SA's brilliance and not just NZ's lackluster performances that won them the series. I'm sure we all remember what happened to the "world number 2 test team" when they last met Australia

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