South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth, 2nd day

We weren't able to cope under pressure - Hesson

Firdose Moonda at St George's Park

January 12, 2013

Comments: 44 | Text size: A | A

Robin Peterson claimed two wickets in his first over, South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth, 2nd day, January 12, 2013
New Zealand lost six wickets for 39 runs after not being able to dismiss South Africa in more than 150 overs © Associated Press

New Zealand's inability to deal with the heat is what worries their beleaguered coach Mike Hesson most. After a second successive substandard performance with the bat in the first innings of a Test match, Hesson was let down equally by his team's lack of application as he was by their lack of heart but he does not seem to have a fix either.

"It's a very disappointing 24 overs," Hesson said in his third fronting up to the media on this tour. "We prepared really well. We knew what we were going to be confronted with. The most disappointing thing was that when we were under pressure, we weren't able to cope."

Notably, Hesson's reason for his team's under-performance was more deflecting than it was explanatory. He heaped praise on a strong South African XI who applied wave after wave of pressure on the vulnerable New Zealand line-up, so much so that they simply could not withstand.

"We spent five and a half sessions out there, so we knew what to expect from the conditions. The pressure is sustained. Guys are under pressure in terms of pace and bounce and their techniques are getting exposed. I know the guys are working extremely hard and that why it's disappointing.

"We sustained pressure at times but they coped with it and that's the thing we are struggling to do. When we get pressure enforced on us, we struggled to get through and the more you talk about it, the harder it gets.

"South Africa is a very tough place to tour. They are the world No.1 side for a reason. They replaced Vernon Philander with Rory Kleinveldt - another high-class bowler. Once their bowlers smell a bit of blood, they are ruthless."

New Zealand held practice sessions every day after their first Test defeat and Hesson confirmed that the standards of practices remain high and the commitment from the players is unmatched. "The players are working extremely hard to get better. After the last Test, we could have put our feet up and gone oh well, tomorrow is another day," he said. "The guys know that we are nowhere near where we need to be and we are putting the work in. The players are trying their very best but we are being outclassed."

An example of that is Martin Guptill, who has scored two runs in three innings and continues to look inept as a Test opener. Hesson said Guptill, just like the rest of the unit, has been putting in the hard yards but just cannot make them count. "Martin prepared well for this Test, he was in a good space and he will be very disappointed with the way he was dismissed," he said. "When the ball swings at pace, you do tend to follow the ball. Sometimes you play and miss thoseā€¦"

But blame cannot be laid at Guptill's door alone and Hesson and his troops are willing to take their chunk of it. "We all share the load. I can't fault the work ethic. We've got a support staff who work extremely hard but this Test match and the last Test match, we just haven't been up to it.. All of us start to think if we are challenged in whether we are doing the right things and whether we are challenging the players in the right way but I can't fault the work ethic."

In questioning the methods and strategies, Hesson conceded that perhaps the management group could implement stricter controls on the group. "We train hard, we train bounce and swing, we ramp the machine up and work on that and maybe we've got to do that more. We are just touching the surface in that area," he said. "Guys don't like to be challenged too much but we are making training more difficult and that's something we will look to continue."

As for the Taylor-shaped elephant in the room, Hesson addressed it candidly while being careful not to create the impression that the former captain alone would have been the difference. "I've said all along we'd be a far better side if Ross Taylor was here," he said. "But we've also got some other fine batsmen, who haven't quite been able to show it in those first three innings and they've got one more innings in this Test match. I'm sure they will be very determined to make a difference." If sentiment in New Zealand is to be believed, Hesson's job may hinge on that.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Sorry to say but I think McCullum might be part of the problem! He is a more than competent keeper but NOT an opener. The Kiwi's have class players but cannot utilise them. Am I the only one that finds it strange the Dettori "resigns" the captaincy and hardly plays for the Blackcaps again? Ross Taylor more than like wise and don't start me on Chris Cairns. McCullum should go in at 6 with the gloves, Taylor in at 3 and Dan the Man at 7 with the ball....this coming from a slightly more than pickled Englishman.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 13, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

@thenoostar: Lol, Pak in tier 1? Moreover you say that IF SA defeat Pak as if there's any doubt? As for Ind's tours of SA, last 2 tours ended level at 1-1 each. My feeling is that we could see the Test Lowest score record being broken successively in SA when Pak tour. Steyn, Morkel and Philander might even limit them to a single digit score - Pak's batting is that poor. Neither is Pak's bowling all that great, they got some good sharp bowlers but do Junaid and Irfan have the class? That is to be seen.

Posted by letsgoproteas on (January 13, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

It's not a good tour for NZ... they'll bounce back. Kiwis are fighters by nature. They are playing an exceptional team right now, and they haven't got the right bunch of guys in SA.

I still recon they'll give England a run for their money.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

This New Zealand team has had substantial harm hurled at it by numerous figures involved in the game and New Zealand's highest profile coach was hamstrung almost before he could start fixing problems. It is extremely unfair to blame Hesson for a decade of maltreatment of NZ Cricket.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 13, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

nz cricket team is a big joke right now , whitewashed in india in all games now its sa turn to do same, i am surprised how they drew in sl and aus

Posted by sammyoneboy on (January 13, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

"Guys don't like to be challenged too much". So do we need a coach who is actually prepared to challenge them or do we need players who are prepared to be challenged? Either way, the statement speaks volumes.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 13, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

No Gareth, Hesson should not be given time.

We over-perform in rugby because no other country has a rugby-following population any bigger than NZ (4 million whites in SA, 4 million privately educated people in England, around 1 million privately-educated people in Queensland and NSW as well as around 200,000 in Argentina).

But at any given time we only have 3-4 international class players, and our coach's primary task has to be to get as many of them onto the paddock on any given day.

But Southee is the only unavailable one of our 4 currently. Vettori is avoiding the team because he feels mistreated - the general consensus is that he is "recovering" as slowly as possible - and Taylor and Ryder have been purged.

Also, there has been an undue emphasis on ODIs and T20 for far too long. But we need old-fashioned cricketers. The likes of Lillee, Chappell and Marsh would all be purged by this absurd management group, whereas as I've said before, if Jesse Ryder's not in jail, play him.

Posted by kangaroussy on (January 13, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

So, to those who agree that NZ should field team/s in Sheffield Shield, how would this come about? I'm guessing the decision makers at CA and NZC don't scan these posts...

I reckon NZ would qualify for some ICC development money for travel costs. Oz players could benefit from playing in "English" conditions like Dunedin and Chch once a summer, and NZ players would certainly benefit from an extended season on larger grounds and in better westher.

And let's face it, who doesn't enjoy a good trans-Tasman rivalry.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (January 13, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

I would again ask the same question i did after the 1st test...NZ are you a test side? Do you really believe so? Are your batsmen fit for even any good club teams? Ask yourself and hear your conscious speak.

Posted by gothetaniwha on (January 13, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

Petty much agree with u Richdegroen ,This was expected 2 test losses inside 3 days , great vision from NZC after the Taylor sacking , the question really should what does NZ cricket need to do to fix this carnage as we have Eng next . Can't see Hesson and Taylor sitting in the same dressing room - one has to go ( Hesson ),Ryder has said lately he is still not available . Maybe Williamson should be given the captaincy and the senior players Taylor , Mc Cullum there to help him along , Congrats SA - This SA could be as good as some of the AUS teams of the decade ago no weakness ,they bat deep ,4 fast bowler plus Kallis .

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

Lets all blame the coach that has hardly even been in the job....GREAT call by some very intelligent people obviously. We always blame the coach. Hesson might not be the best but surely he needs time. These guys are all at the level where they are either good enough OR they aren't surely. A new coach can't make them better in a few months, especially when many of them think they don't need help so we have all heard. Too much player power maybe? Last innings was embarrassing but as die hard Kiwi's lets just support the group and hope the players must be held accountable not blame the coach. But, also lets hope the coach makes some good hard decisions leading into England test series.

Posted by ygkd on (January 13, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

Yes, @kangaroussy - NZ for the Sheffield Shield - maybe even twice (North Is & South Is). It works well in rugby codes, soccer and netball, so why not cricket? No offence to the Plunkett Shield, which has tradition on its side, but something has to give. The Blackcaps can't continue down this path for long without radical measures being taken at lower levels. It wouldn't hurt Australia either. The Sheffield Shield competition has gone stale and adding 2 NZ teams may freshen it up.

Posted by Simoc on (January 13, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

While it's convenient to blame the coach, I believe they contribute very little and are mostly ignored by the better players in every team. It's up to the players to get up to test standard and the captain calls the shots. The kiwis are wimping out. Steyn and co are very good but not at all unplayable and a bit of fight would be appreciated by the world of cricket.

Posted by MH13 on (January 13, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

for England series. Watling opening with Ryder, Mccullam at 3 Taylor at 4. Browlee ,Williamson,Ronchi .decent top order

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 13, 2013, 1:49 GMT)

Hey Kiwis, how's that Buchanan regime working out for ya?

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 13, 2013, 1:03 GMT)

Why does no-one acknowledge what's really going on?

Otago's Glenn Turner was a fine batsman who absented himself from international cricket in the mid-70s when the West Indies assembled a scary pack of quick bowlers. And in the mid-90s he became NZ coach and then purged players whose behaviour he didn't like, notably Cairns and Parore although he also ensured there was no road back for Ken Rutherford. He seemed to espouse Rudyard Kipling-style traditional British boarding school values of discipline and obedience over quality.

The results were a shambles and NZ Cricket's new CEO restored the stars and Turner left.

Two decades on, we have a young coach and a captain from Otago who grew up in a Glenn Turner world in Dunedin. And the Kipling experiment has been resumed.

And predictably the lack of reserve talent leaves us with a team of Mr Kipling's cakes rather than Rudyard Kipling's excellence.

For us in NZ, our coach just needs to always field Taylor, Ryder, Southee and Vettori.

Posted by class9ryan on (January 13, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

d Kiwis do not have a good side for tests no more... What NZ can do is make sure that they develop a side ... they will have 2 arrange more matches against d likes of bangladesh , sri lanka or d weaker test sides atleast at home so that players can get important experience... so many players new 2 intl cricket playing against world no1 is terrifying

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 0:27 GMT)

@ Neil evan with more than twice as many centuries Gayle is way above Mccullum in terms of batting class. from carrying his bat @ Adelaide & battering a century in 70 balls at Perth to triple centuries versus South Africa & Sri Lanka, He scored centuries vs England both at home & away. he has battered bowling attacks from S/A to Aus to Eng they have all felt the might of his blade & in Test cricket at that. the only team right now that would hesitate to consider Gayle as an opening option is South Africa as Root is just starting out for England, Warner / Cowan/ Hughes psshh give me a break, Sehwag & Dilshan are has beens. Does any1 know who opens for Pakistan?

Posted by bobbo2 on (January 12, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

As a big NZ cricket fan I watched last night and the fact is SA are just too good. Too much bowling pressure. Without Taylor, Ryder and Vettori we are weak in the batting department.

Only Williamson and McCullum got out to bad shots. The rest were simply outplayed by a far better team.

When we get Ronchi into the fold with our best batsmen back I think we will improve. But no denying that SA are just too good for NZ and you can only blame the players so much. The All Blacks hammer teams all the time because they are simply better. No different with SA here.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

Vested interests and parochialism will stop NZ cricket from the correct fix. We do not have enough quality players for 6 associations so should reduce to 4. Play a higher standard of domestic cricket and get the NZ second XI into the sheffield shied in Australia to get them used to a transitionary standard of cricket. Get rid of Hessan and pick proper test players

Get martin Crowe back

Apologise to John Wright.

Posted by nzforever on (January 12, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

Enough is enough, Hesson has to go Guptill/McCullum are NOT OPENERS Patel is not a test spinner and Flynn just doesn't quite cut it. Wagner & Munro judgement to be reserved. Management & pundits can't keep on saying these are our best players and that we have no depth lets find out and try the following. Test team 1. Rutherford 2.Watling 3.Taylor 4.Brownlie 5.Ryder 6.Williamson 7.McCullum* 8.Astle 9.Bracewell(still question mark) 10.Southee 11.Boult. *McCullum to play as wkt keeper & if he's not happy with that don't play him in tests only the shorter versions of the game and use Ronchi as test keeper. Cachopa/Raval/MacClenagahn/Milne (tests only) as back up. Ronchi/Guptill/Munro/Vettori/Hira to come in for ODI/T20 games

Posted by regofpicton on (January 12, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

I find it hard to credit that this disaster - this shambles, this utter farce - is all the result of Mr Hesson's enthusiasm for Brendon McCullum's captaincy skills, because he keeps proving that he completely lacks those skills. In the use of the toss, of reviews, of bowlers and the bat McCullum has proved repeatedly that he just cannot do the job. I am a big fan of Ross Taylor but I accept that he would not have been able to make much difference to the overall result, because the South African team is simply too strong. But I am sure that, under Taylor, we would not have looked like such a complete rabble. In future, McCullum, if he makes the test team, must bat down the order. At least then he won't be able to waste a batting review most innings trying to give himself the benefit of the doubt. As for Mr Hesson, he may have failed in Kenya, but perhaps Afghanistan was more his style? Sorry - bad idea! Hesson might deserve it, but Afghanistan surely deserves better . .

Posted by spiceisles on (January 12, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

Hesson's comments show a man way out of his league. Having handled the Taylor saga so poorly he now struggles to motivate the national side. The comment "Guys don't like to challenged too much....." Never heard that from a coach in any sport. A small man trying to do a big man's job !! Time to move on Mike!

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

@kangaroussy Nice idea, I would actually like that, NZ used to have a side in the Australian one day competition.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (January 12, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

The its time factor is time. The ICC needs to create a TWO TIER system of six teams per tier. Each team should play four tests against five opponents over a two year period with sixth & seventh swopping automatically and fifth & eigth playing off in a three test series in fifth's country, every two years. On the current rankings the two tiers would be: (1) SA, Eng, Aust, Pak, Ind, Srl. (2) WI, NZ, Zimb, Bang, Ireland & Afgan. After two years (if rankings didnt change), Srl & WI would switch and Ind would play NZ in Ind to remain in top tier. Also Afgan would be replaced by another associate (eg: Holland) and Ireland would play a home series against the ICup runner-up (eg: Scotland) for tier two test status. This would allow teams of similar skill to play against each other and the best teams would climb up the ladder.

Posted by thenoostar on (January 12, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

@Kohli_DaBest India would be thrashed in South Africa too. Whenever Indian players come up against bouncy seaming tracks they cower meekly. NZs developing seam attack would relish bowling to the Indian batsmen in South African conditions. Especially at full stregnth.

We should hold judgement until Pakistan play in South Africa. If Pakistans vastly superior players get hammered, we can safely say that this is an all conquering South African team fit to challenge any of histories greatest teams.

The New Zealand team is playing badly but this same New Zealand team would be hammering Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. It seems there are 3 teirs in test cricket now.

tier 1: Aus SA Eng Pak tier 2: India SL NZ WI tier 3: Zim Ban

Posted by ygkd on (January 12, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

The problem with NZ is that they bat like Martin C. Unfortunately, that's Chris Martin, not Martin Crowe. Surely there must be some way that Crowe could be brought back into the fold? He seems to have predicted this mess, somewhat.

Posted by kangaroussy on (January 12, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

NZ for Sheffield Shield. Let's make this a thing. Even if it's an A team, but let's get these guys facing reasonable quality bowling on a regular basis in a strong domestic competition. Test Cricket needs it.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

We need a coach that can lay the law down. As much as I hate to say it, Glenn Turner would probably be top choice for the job

Posted by yetigoat on (January 12, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

For all you Franklin haters, he at least would have scored 8 before getting out. Better than a couple of what will soon be his former team mates.

Please Mr Hesson, fall on your sword, if you have any respect or love for your country!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 12, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

NZ fans shouldn't give up. The next series will be against England which will be much easier, so the batsmen can get their averages up again.

Posted by IanT1 on (January 12, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

NZ's decline goes back to when some marketing guru called them the Young Guns, and unfortunately they believed it.

If Ryder, Taylor &Vettorie were back and each scored 100 in this innings, we would still be far behind.

NZ Cricket is an Incorporated Society, all associations are members, and therefore have rights to appoint members - all Assoc's have responsibility for its current admin shambles.

I feel for Taylor over his poor dumping, but how much pride in his country and his sport, does throwing the toys out of the cot show?

Coaching Kenya, is not a good CV for NZ coach, and it shows. Hessons comment "Guys don't like to be challenged too much but we are making training more difficult ..." is unacceptable - he is saying they would rather embarrass their country than be challenged at practise!!

The team's in dire straits - I look at the % runs from boundaries, and do not see a team which is at least fighting to stay in the hunt. To the team- remember guys you are representing NZ

Posted by Baundele on (January 12, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

Time to appoint Jamie Siddons as the coach. Pairing with Buchanan he can start from the scratch: 1) forming a captaincy group so that each individual can avoid the responsibility of answering tough questions after such no-performance, 2)sticking with 15 fixed players expecting them to improve by playing and taking NZ cricket somewhere in 10 years.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

group meditation sessions might help. train the minds.

Posted by RichDeGroen on (January 12, 2013, 20:20 GMT)

NZC is sooo far up the creek without a paddle. A coach that should never have been given the job has created havoc in the team. They look mentally and technically lost. Since his decision to cull Taylor, Hesson has done nothing resembling coaching. The side has been poorly selected, poorly prepared and deservedly torn apart on the field. The senior players are all AWOL. Taylor and Ryder because of mismanagement, Vettori and Southee through injury, and Guptill, Franklin and McCullum because they are not good enough. The worst part is that I can't see any way of things getting better. Its hard to imagine McCullum and Hesson getting the chop, but that is honestly where I would start before the England series. Then hope Taylor returns, select the best performing openers from domestic cricket and send out an SOS to Jesse Ryder. Give Ronchi the gloves then maybe Watling can open again. At least he plays the ball late, under his eyes, which Guptill is not doing right now.

Posted by Kohli_DaBest on (January 12, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

time for INDIA to arrange series with NZ to regain lost form. batting greats YUVI, SRT, VIRU can gain form ahead of future series.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

Minnow nations such as Zimbabwe, Kenya etc could put up more of a fight than this blackcaps team. It hurts

Posted by Narkovian on (January 12, 2013, 19:51 GMT)

A long time ago,( at least 35+ years) a very illustrious ex England Test captain by then a commentator, said on TV " New zealand batsmen are 40 - men". Meaning when they score a 40 it is like top teams scoring a 100. With a couple of obvious exceptions, not much has changed in those 35 years. All sorts of reasons maybe... but there we are.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

I'm not actually sure how Hesson is still in the job after the Taylor debacle. Taylor, Ryder & Vettori would obviously strengthen the side but i don't think they'd stop the hidings being dished out at the moment. I like Taylor & I think he was horrendously treated but the temptation is that he's sat it out because it was a tough tour, & you don't get enough chances playing for your country to give them away. I used to have this argument a few years ago when a West Indian mate went on & on about Chris Gayle, & i don't dispute either his or mcCullums ability, but neither would bat top order for anyone else barring the minnows

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 19:29 GMT)

I also think its time for drastic change. Taylor and Ryder absolutely need to be back in the squad to reinforce our batting line up. I am so frustrated with the situation NZ cricket administration have helped create. Yes, the players are to blame, but sport is a confidence thing as much as it is talent or even how hard you are training. I get the feeling that there is a some serious issues with the team mentality & the administration are heavily to blame here. If something isn't done soon, it may permanently damage some of the younger guys confidence and also NZ cricket for good. Will it take a demotion as a test playing nation (basically second division) before anything is done?

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

Wheres the captain on the field during all this, At least Ross Taylor lead by example not by trying to play 20\20 in a test match Mc Cullum is not a captain because he does not put the team first, Both he and Guptill are not test players so why are we trying to build a test team around them, We dont have much depth back home but there has to be someone who can step up and do the job, rather than putting the blinkers on and ignoring repeated failures due to being out of their depth as there is so real talent back home if we give them a chance

Posted by Lermy on (January 12, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

That just confirms my fears. Can't fault the amount of work they are putting in. That means they just aren't up to it. At least there is some honesty there, just no answers, in fact basically a concession that they'll never be good enough. Time to chop NZ from the test playing nations.

Posted by kirangupta on (January 12, 2013, 18:52 GMT)

NZ Cricket is a shambles. I say time for some drastic action. Fire the core of the board and coaching staff (CEO, Hesson, Buchannan etc) and bring in some very experienced administrators and coaches. I suggest they bring in some lawyers or politicians who can start the board and try and put some common sense into the board. They should also hire a Mike Young type as a fielding coach, Craig McDermott as a bowling coach and bring back John Wright as batting and head coach. And of course bring back Ross Taylor as captain and star batsman.

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