Coach Andy Moles has called for more consistency from his team after they clinched a 2-1 win in the ODI series against West Indies. The victory gave Moles his first series win in charge - the two teams had drawn the Test and Twenty20 series.
"To get a win under our belts is really key, we want to become a winning unit," Moles told NZPA. "I think we played some good cricket and some inconsistent cricket at times. Looking over the series it shows we need to be more consistent in certain areas but we're pleased to get a win under the belt."
New Zealand clinched the ODI series in a rain-affected game in Napier, one of the many weather interruptions during West Indies' visit. "The batters had a stop-start sort of season all the way," Moles said. "We've been on and off throughout the whole six or seven weeks. The batters have struggled to get match rhythm.
"We had certain individuals do well but, moving forward to Australia, we've got to get a lot more consistency into our batting and build partnerships."
Among the positives for the team was the emergence of Martin Guptill, who became the first New Zealander to score a century on debut in the fourth ODI in Auckland. With aggressive openers in Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum, Guptill could prove the ideal foil at one-drop. "It just shows he's certainly not out of his depth, getting a hundred and backing it up with 40-odd," Moles said.
Ross Taylor topped the run-charts for the team, scoring unbeaten fifties in the wins in Wellington and Napier, which even earned him praise from captain Daniel Vettori. "We're starting to see him as someone we can bat around," Moles said. "Players improve in gradients and they stand still for a while. Ross is now on one of those upwards curves in his career."
New Zealand next face No.1-ranked Australia, who beat them 2-0 in the Test series last year, in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. The five-ODI series begins on February 1.