New Zealand in West Indies 2014

McMillan joins New Zealand as batting coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 9, 2014

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Craig McMillan is delighted after getting three wickets in quick succession, New Zealand v South Africa, Super Eights, Grenada, April 14, 2007
Once Craig McMillan was Brendon McCullum's team-mate, but now he will work with McCullum's side as batting coach © AFP
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Players/Officials: Craig McMillan
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Craig McMillan has been named New Zealand's batting coach for the upcoming tour of the West Indies. In April the position was vacated by Bob Carter, who quit to take up a high-performance role in New Zealand's setup, and although McMillan's appointment is temporary at this stage, he could earn the job full-time if he impresses on the Caribbean tour.

McMillan, 37, played 55 Tests and 197 one-day internationals for New Zealand between 1997 and 2007, and since his retirement has worked in both commentary and coaching. He was the batting coach for Canterbury when they won the Plunket Shield last season and worked with New Zealand during the Wellington Test against West Indies in December when Carter was absent.

"It's a career path I'm looking forward to pursuing," McMillan told the Dominion Post this week. "I really enjoyed those few days and that's part of the reason why I applied. It's a great group of guys with a strong work ethic and they want to improve."

Lindsay Crocker, the head of cricket with NZC, said McMillan was the right man for the job. "We had a number of strong applicants from New Zealand and abroad, but overall we felt that Craig was the best fit for the role," Crocker said.

"Apart from being a former player himself, Craig's worked with Canterbury Cricket and also spent some time in the Black Caps' camp. His commentary work has also given him extensive knowledge of both the Black Caps and West Indies squads and those qualities placed him ahead of the other candidates."

A full-time batting coach will be named after the end of the West Indies tour. New Zealand fly to the Caribbean in late May for three Tests and two Twenty20 internationals.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by KingAjmal on (May 11, 2014, 7:45 GMT)

Don't think it will make much difference. NZ lack enough talent and interest.

Posted by choppa13 on (May 11, 2014, 7:03 GMT)

@yorkers totally agree alot of comments regarding Fleming crowe and astle only make sense if they applied for the job and I would bet my bottom dollar that they didn't apply. Macca could be an excellent decision or it could blow up in there face. At this level the players should already know there techniques and strengths so the appointment of a batting coach in my opinion is to just lend advice and help out when needed, pretty much a waste of money in my opinion. Cheers

Posted by TheDreadPirateRoberts on (May 10, 2014, 23:06 GMT)

Not sure how much McMillian has to offer, given the NZ batsmen ALREADY KNOW how to throw their wickets away playing irresponsible shots.

Posted by hokeypokey on (May 10, 2014, 4:55 GMT)

@bellbird, mental toughness? Eg taylor..taylor showed everyone how to be mentally tough after being told he wasnt a leader before that test in sri lanka, we all no what happend after that, and then continually perform with the side show of nzc in the rear vision mirror. .I would say latherm will benefit most with mcmillian on tour. But at least I could push the mute button and put on radiosport on during the cricket season, the players cant..missd opportunity I feel for nzl, to get a worldclass coach with qualifications.

Posted by   on (May 10, 2014, 4:30 GMT)

Stephen fleming should have applied .I wonder why he is not considered .Anyways best of luck to mcmillan .

Posted by   on (May 10, 2014, 3:28 GMT)

Completely agree with Gagg

Posted by   on (May 10, 2014, 0:35 GMT)

McMillan started off as a very good test batsman, but faded out towards the end of his career. I remember him playing some of the best cover drives going around the international stage, but for some reason he put all his Orthodox shots away at the end. This could be a good move. Craig has been working with the up and coming school kids, developing them. I have seen his results personally at his training sessions. If he can translate that success in the world stage then look out. Fingers crossed aye.

Posted by Bellbird on (May 10, 2014, 0:31 GMT)

He will be a fantastic batting coach and here is why. Our players generally don't need coaching on their batting style, that's comes naturally. What they do need is mental toughness to go from good to great, like Taylor for example. Macca used to drive me nuts as well when he went out stupidly but you ask any of his opposition (Warne for example) and they will tell you they would much prefer he wasn't in the opposition team! He is in your face and would never back down no matter who the bowler. This is why he would have been picked. He may not of been the best batsmen in the country but if he can teach the likes of Williamson and some of the younger guys how to back themselves then they will be better for it. You watch!

Posted by Yorkers on (May 9, 2014, 21:28 GMT)

Let's try and put some clarity around these comments shall we. Firstly, congratulations NZ Cricket on appointing someone with some pedigree. Point 1: Did Martin Crowe, Stephen Fleming or Nathan Astle apply? 2: The majority of players at this level have very good technique for their own style of play. The game is not about making robots but advising and allowing that advice to be used when deemed necessary by the player or at that point should he deem not to use it he gets found out. Every player in the world trhoughout time has lost his wicket through one of many reasons which hasn't changed. 3: It is entirely possible that coach and captain have been the ones to blame for a players poor performance in the past through possibly giving a player adverse instruction as he heads to the middle.

NZC appointed Mike Hesson to caoch and the majority screamed foul play, but, he has gathered aorund himself a really good team and this could well be a really good move.

Posted by   on (May 9, 2014, 18:44 GMT)

Great players don't make great coaches and bad players don't make bad coaches... Don't judge McMillian because of his playing career. Unless you've seen him during a coaching session with Canterbury, don't assume he's a bad coach. He obviously did something right, given the success they had down there.

Posted by   on (May 9, 2014, 13:57 GMT)

McMillan can at best be a T20 batting coach, he is the man who can develop good techniques in Kiwi batsmen .Nathan astle was by far the best Kiwi batsmen across formats apart from Martin crowe

Posted by StevieS on (May 9, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

Great so all our batsman are going to get caught behind trying a little dap shot outside off for a single. Don't get me wrong, he was a goodish batsman but he was hardly textbook stuff.

Posted by Clyde on (May 9, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

How can a man with an average under 40 in Tests teach batting to people who are going to need to average more than that? It does not seem possible. Does a coach have an unusually good understanding of Peter May's Book of Cricket, for example? We straightforward fans need some kind of explanation.

Posted by Bob100 on (May 9, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

I think the best man for the coach would be Stephen Fleming. He is probably new zealand's best player so far, and one of the best captain the game has ever seen. This would also help new zealand cricket as 2015 world cup is nearing,,,,,,,, all the best kiwis,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by DJRNZ on (May 9, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

Can't believe this move from NZC.....

Craig McMillian???? If I recall this guy was quite often getting a hard time in the press for getting out stupidly and not really using his head.

We need someone like Crowe or not that'll happen anytime soon, Fleming. Look at what Crowe has done for Taylor.

I hope he goes okay, I got nothing against him at the end of the day but I don't agree with this decision.

Posted by bretandme on (May 9, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

Where is Nathan Astle??? he was much better player and batsman.

Posted by   on (May 9, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

@kiwicricketnut and @Jordanious77 have got this right, Williamson wont benefit from this is as he is a much better bat than McMillan. Don't worry about taylor who is unlikely to stop taking advice from Crowe who would be my batting coach. Williamson would learn so much from him he would probably bring his average into the forties and start scoring test 150s.

Posted by ru4real on (May 9, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

think the above photo says it all. Have nzc got their money on the right horse here?

Posted by smokem on (May 9, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

@thenoostar: are you serious? There's a video of him playing Shane Warne on Youtube. It really quite funny...

Posted by thenoostar on (May 9, 2014, 7:38 GMT)

Craig McMillan was an excellent player of spin bowling and definitely the best in the team while he was playing. He was a better test and t20 player than a ODI player but the selectors never saw it that way. Sadly he had to retire when he was playing some of his best cricket. He will do a great job!

Posted by   on (May 9, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

Expect more catching practice to the slips trying to run the ball through third man - McMillan's signature shot.

Posted by Jordanious77 on (May 9, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

Maybe im misjudging McMillian due to not having seen him coach, but this sounds like a terrible move from NZC.....

I agree with Kiwicricketnut, how can McMillian teach Taylor, Williamson or even players like Watling and McCullum anything to do with batting? McMillian never had great technique, so for him to be teaching our players (who are much better than he was) seems a joke..

It IS possible that McMillian knew the right technique and is a great teacher but just didn't have the patience or skill to pull it together. But he doesn't leave me with much hope. He hasn't exactly led by example or had much coaching experience.

I feel someone like Crowe would have loads more to offer, but then again, i haven't talked to McMillian or Crowe. I don't exactly have huge insight into the minds of these men.

Fingers crossed he goes okay, though. Hopefully he doesn't mess up our players too much. And then again, it's only for the short-term.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (May 9, 2014, 6:04 GMT)

not sure what a guy like mcmillian can teach guys like williamson and taylor when they are far better players than he ever was but who knows maybe he has something to offer after all its a temporary fix, hopefully someone world class puts there hand up soon

Posted by hokeypokey on (May 9, 2014, 5:54 GMT)

Really...? I hearld he was a level 2 coach, does that mean hes really good?..anyone?..anyway seems nz could of done better..

Posted by ru4real on (May 9, 2014, 4:56 GMT)

"And they want to improve".......no chance now.

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