New Zealand news December 4, 2012

Vettori out of South Africa Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

Daniel Vettori has been ruled out of New Zealand's Test matches in South Africa which begin early next year. He has not recovered from hernia and Achilles injuries, the latter picked up during the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Vettori, 33, has missed New Zealand's last five Tests against Sri Lanka, India and West Indies having initially suffered a groin injury in the Caribbean. He had hoped to prove his recovery from the latest setbacks in the Plunket Shield for Northern Districts but has not been able to make an appearance.

With Vettori unavailable Jeetan Patel, the offspinner, will remain the No. 1 slow bowler while Todd Astle, who made his debut in Colombo last week when New Zealand levelled the series, could be included as a second option.

New Zealand play two Tests in South Africa, the first in Cape Town starting on January 2 followed by one in Port Elizabeth from January 11.

There are reports emerging that New Zealand may not be led by Ross Taylor for the tour - which also includes Twenty20s and ODIs - after his relationship with coach Mike Hesson reached breaking point despite the impressive series-leveling victory in Colombo. Taylor, however, tweeted* he had given no ultimatum to New Zealand Cricket or made any decisions about his captaincy. "A lot of speculation out there. I have heard from the CEO once," he said on Twitter. "I haven't made any decisions. At no time have I given NZC any... ...ultimatums about Hesson or Me or South Africa."

Other than the win in Colombo it has been a difficult year for New Zealand with Test series defeats at home to South Africa then away in West Indies and India while they were knocked out in the Super Eights of the World Twenty20. They have also lost 10 of their last 13 ODIs and in the latest ICC rankings have slipped to ninth behind Bangladesh.

Taylor was named captain in June last year following Vettori's reign having previously done the job as a stand-in. The captaincy had a positive impact on Taylor's Test average with it rising to 49.85 from 13 Tests compared to his overall figure of 43.57 and he struck three hundreds in those matches, including a crucial 142 in Colombo recently.

* - 0500GMT, December 5, 2012 - The story was updated to include Ross Taylor's tweets

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Paul on December 6, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    The series in South Africa will be hard enough without making a rod for our own backs over the captaincy. Taylor has, after all, overseen two very good wins away from home in the last 12 months. He's also sure of his place - a must for any skipper. I prefer McCullum in the first lieutenant role, as he is a positive force in the dressing room but has his own form issues at times. Vettori won't be there, so stop worrying about that. And then get on with it - an awful lot of hard work has to go into the series against a team that has just hammered Australia at Perth after looking almost gone at Adelaide. The South Africans are a team with no factions, and we need to be as well. New Zealand shouldn't beat this South African side, but I'd rather see the fight of Wellington earlier this year rather than the collapse of Hamilton. Then see what happens from there.

  • Kevin on December 6, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Feel sorry for Taylor, but suspect McCullum should have been captain from word go. Very determined and probably more inspirational. Still, it seems ridiculous timing to do it now just after a rare test win, and with Taylor now not being available for SA. The more things change the more they stay the same. Jesse Ryder for captain anyone...???? Boy could he lead the drinking sessions, and at this rate NZ might need some!

  • Will on December 6, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    I remember when Taylor got the nod as captain there was talk of two camps - the Taylor camp and McCullum camp. Just by watching the body language of the team on the field it seems obvious that this is still the case. John Wright hoped they could work together, but also noted at the time that the call to make Taylor captain was not 'completely cut and dried'. Nightmare scenario when it seemed New Zealand was slowly getting back on track with a few players getting used to their roles in the team.

  • Adam on December 6, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    @Hawk89 - these are all things that can be learnt, as mentioned in a few other comments, if Taylor's given support and proper coaching, he can grow as captain. Instability does nothing to nurture this. On the other hand, it appears McCullum is totally unable to grow up or listen to any sort of advice - how many times has he thrown his wicket away at key times?

  • Jeremy on December 6, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    Taylor isn't captain material. Who cares if his personal average went slightly up, he still plays around his pads and a poor technique. He doesn't know how to rotate bowlers, puts a spin bowler on when its swinging and field settings that don't make sense. Gives a leg spinner an off spinner's field. Franklin has no idea how to bat or bowl under Taylor.

  • Vaughan on December 6, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Just when things are starting to develop, NZC has become the laughing stock of the world AGAIN!! Even after we beat Sri Lanka at home... Nice job boys! Brendon McCullum in my view is the most over rated cricketer in NZ and probably the world! I believe he also captained an IPL team in 2009 too. As Buchannon will well know they finished last! Therefore "superior catain" based on what? Taylor's record is not exactly flash either, but it feels like something is developing - Wins against Australia, Sri Lanka, and dont forget a very spirited perfornace against SA (the best team in the world by a distance). Taylor broke his arm in the 3rd, and returned ready to bat if needed. Lead by example I say! Hesson should pull his head in and work on developing Taylor where is necessary, and McCullum should be supporting him too! Too many selfish personalities, and if the heads of NZC can let this happen then im affraid we are doomed to another decade of embarrasment!

  • Matthew on December 6, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    I really don't think losing Vettori is that much of a big deal for NZ - certainly not from a bowling point of view, as I don't think he was doing that well before his injury problems. Jeetan Patel bowled very well in India and Sri Lanka and Todd Astle did ok too in the latter tour so I don't think NZ will be a worse side for taking those two guys to South Africa. I think Patel bowling for Warwickshire in English county cricket has done wonders for him tbh and he seems a lot more confident about his overall game. He's not going to go through a side but he'll pick up wickets here and there and will tie down an end for his skipper whoever that will be. Oh and Ross Taylor is the best captain for the Black Caps so it's imperative that he and coach sort things out and quick. Good to read some honest comments from Wayne Carter and Malcolm Gordon on this issue.

  • Anver on December 6, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Ross is the ideal man to lead this young NZ for now, there's no suitable person who can replace him as captain, so better he continues the role for sometime !!!!!

  • Dylan on December 6, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    Ross Taylor is by far our best batsmen in the side. If we lose him because of this, prepare to lose all fan-based support and matches to come. Because without him or Jesse Ryder, we will be nothing but a hit and giggle team. Brendon McCullum use to be a favourite of mine, but his attitude and ability is pathetic. I'd much rather see him be given the chop along with this Hesson chump.

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    if this was England or India or Australia this would be 3 or 4 different stories. But its NZ, so we can jam together a story about their most experienced player missing another important series and the possibility of a leadership change. Sad, because there are huge unanswered questions in both cases: Should Vettori be persisted with, who is coming through? Is McCullum the only replacement for Taylor, what about Guptil, Williamson...

  • No featured comments at the moment.