Cricket

Vettori: Back up bowlers

2011-01-14 07:51
Daniel Vettori (AFP)

Wellington - New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has echoed coach John Wright and asked his batsmen to back up their bowlers if the home side have any chance of squaring the series against Pakistan when the second Test begins at the Basin Reserve on Saturday.

The hosts' pace trio of Chris Martin, Brent Arnel and Tim Southee toiled on a unresponsive pitch to bowl Pakistan out for 367 in the first test at Seddon Park, before New Zealand's batsmen collapsed for 110 in their second innings.

Pakistan knocked off the 19 runs needed for victory in under four overs to claim the first Test by 10 wickets.

Wright, who was appointed to the job before the series began, said he was expecting his top six to bat longer in order to help set up competitive totals that his bowlers could then defend.

"I think the words that Wrighty has said have been great, he's hit the nail on the head on a number of occasions," Verttori told reporters in brilliant sunshine in Wellington on Friday.

"We understand it was a poor performance but if we get too down in the dumps then we're not going to rectify it here.

"We obviously didn't score enough runs in the last Test but I thought the bowling unit did a good job.

"Tim in particular, I think I stated in the press conference after the Test match that I think it's the best Test match he has had and he has backed it up."

While the Seddon Park was flat, the green pitch at the Basin Reserve is expected to provide more bounce, pace and assistance for the fast bowlers, which could see the New Zealand side rejigged.

Wellington all-rounder James Franklin is widely expected to come into the side, possibly at the expense of opening batsmen Tim McIntosh.

Franklin will likely bat at number six, with the rest of the order moving up one spot and his left arm swing bowling will provide some variation from the right-arm medium-fast attack of Arnel, Southee and Martin and also allow them to rest.

"Sometimes if you can have that extra bowler in the likes of a Franklin then it allows Chris Martin or Tim Southee to be even more of a strike bowler," Vettori added.

"I thought they both bowled really well but they had a pretty big workload (in Hamilton), so maybe the addition of Franklin would take a bit of that workload off and they would be fresher for it."

Franklin, who has made 12 centuries including a career best 219 and averages almost 35 at first class level has not transferred that to the highest level, with just one century and an average of 21.46, though the majority of his batting success at first-class level has come in the past three or four seasons.

"I see him as a batter who bowls a little bit. I think that goes along with what the selectors think," Vettori said.

"I think whenever you get a player like James in terms of the all round package it's a real advantage so you always try to fir that type of player in the team."


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