Difficult time for New Zealand: Vettori

By Abhishek Roy, IANS
Thursday, February 24, 2011

NAGPUR - New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori admitted Thursday that the devastating earthquake in Christchurch has affected the team, but the Black Caps are determined to do well against Australia in their World Cup Group A game here Friday.

“It has been a difficult time for us, but nothing compared to what people are going through back home. The whole country is hurting immensely and the team feels for it,” said Vettori after the team’s practise session at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium at Jamtha.

Two of the New Zealand team’s support staff - Dayle Shackel (physiotherapist) and Bryan Stronach (trainer) - rushed back Wednesday to be with their families in Christchurch.

“We have to get along with it. A local physio has joined the team and he has been of great help so we have to utilise him as much as we can before our guys return,” said Vettori.

Vettori said it has been a tough build-up for his boys ahead of the crucial trans-Tasman clash, which has got the status of Chappel-Hadlee Trophy. New Zealand had a rough patch last year as they were on a 11-match losing streak and were whitewashed in the ODI series in Bangladesh and India. They have won just three of their last 17 games.

“It has been a tough build up for the boys. Coming for training has allowed them to get their minds off what is going on back home. We have trained well for this match and we are really looking forward to this game,” he said.

The left-arm spinner said the 10-wicket win over Kenya in their opening encounter would boost the team’s confidence.

“We have to look at ourselves in the best possible light and perform well as a team. Every game is a fresh challenge for us and hopefully, we can take the positives of our comprehensive win against Kenya into this match, but we know this will be a different challenge,” said Vettori.

He also said the appointment of South African pace legend Allan Donald as consultant has given the side the much needed confidence.

“He has brought back the confidence in the team, which was going through a bad patch. His experience has helped the team. Some of our bowers have benefited from him, especially Tim Southee and Hamish Bennett who have worked with him a lot and have benefitted from his expertise,” he said.

Vettori also hinted that New Zealand might again open the bowling with spinners.

“The plan against Australia will be to bowl straight and score a lot of runs. The key against such big teams is your presence of mind and how to execute plans time and time again. There is always a chance that we may open with spinners like we did in the last game,” he said.

Vettori pointed out that the pitch at Jamtha would assist slow bowlers.

“It will be a really good wicket. It will be a day game and dew won’t be a factor. We played the Irish team here in a warm-up game and it was a high scoring game. But it may slow down as the play goes on,” he said.

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