Saturday, October 31, 2009


It is business as usual for the New Zealand cricket team as they prepare for the three one-day and two Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates without a coach.

Captain Daniel Vettori has taken on the coaching role following the resignation of Andy Moles last week but so far it does not appear to have caused too much disruption since the team's arrival in Abu Dhabi.

"I suppose it is a little bit different," admitted Brendon McCullum. "But we have only had one proper cricket training since we arrived and that went pretty smoothly.

"We have still got some experienced people in and around the team that are certainly able to pass on some good points.

"Whilst we don't directly have a coach at this point the guys seem to be able to operate pretty well and hopefully we can back that up with some results as well."

Despite the fall-out surrounding Moles' decision to step down after losing the confidence of his senior players, McCullum felt there was no extra pressure on the players to perform with the coach gone.

"The decision at the end of the day wasn't the players' in terms of whether Andy stayed or not," he told Radio Sport.

"From our perspective there is always pressure on us to perform and this is no different.

"We've got a job to do as individuals and collectively if we can pull together to get the job done that's the most important thing."

It has been a tough week for McCullum too after losing his position as vice-captain and there is also a continuing debate around whether or not he should remain as an opening batsman in the limited forms of the game.

The 28-year-old confirmed he will continue at the top of the order against Pakistan, although he conceded a return to the role of finisher at six or seven remained a possibility.

"There is always a possibility that things can change and the roles that you play differ at times.

"But in my mind I'm pretty clear about what I want and hopefully if I can do the job then that takes any sort of debate or questioning about the role I have in the team out of play. The ball is firmly in my court as to how that unfolds.

"Obviously last year was a little bit disappointing. As opposition teams tend to do in international cricket they work out ways to be able to counter certain strengths of a player.

"They did that very well last year, now it's back in my hands to counter-punch with a slightly refined and improved game. I'm confident I can do that."

The sides' opening one-day international is on Tuesday.

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