Sunday, November 1, 2009

Styris tells senior Black Caps to step up

Veteran New Zealand cricket allrounder Scott Styris is expecting the Black Caps' senior players to step up and take the load off skipper and acting coach Daniel Vettori.

New Zealand have arrived in Dubai to prepare for their three-match one-day cricket series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi next week without a coach, following Andy Moles' resignation last week.

Moles walked away after an internal review of the team's performance revealed senior players were unhappy with their progress under the English coach.

Vettori has consequently added coaching duties to his list of responsibilities, and Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam has sniffed a potential weakness.

Alam told the cricinfo website today that Vettori faced an enormous job both coaching and captaining New Zealand.

He said New Zealand "could find the going tough without a coach".

"From where I see it, it is very important for an international cricket team to have a full-time coach," he said.

"It could be tough for him (Vettori). I mean, the whole idea of having a coach is to ensure that the captain is spared from any headaches and can focus on leading his players on the field in the best possible manner."

Vettori can manage

But Styris had no doubt that, with the support of senior players, Vettori could manage his roles as captain, coach and leading allrounder.

"The only possible perceived weakness is that Dan's performance could drop because of this," Styris said.

"The only way we can help Dan out is to make sure those senior players, those guys that have been around a while, pick up some of the slack and start putting in big efforts."

Styris, who was called into the team following injuries to Jesse Ryder, Grant Elliott and Daryl Tuffey, said it was important that effort came across the board.

"It needs to be three or four players at once, not just one or two. If we can do that, I'm sure Dan's workload will be a little bit more relaxed and he can make sure he's doing his job - performing on the field, that's his main priority."

Not overly burdened

Vettori himself said he didn't feel overly burdened.

"I don't feel like I have to pick up any slack in terms of coaching the side or anything like that, but it's about coming over here and getting the job done," he said.

Vettori said his team were doing their best to focus on the three one-day matches in Abu Dhabi followed by two Twenty20 internationals in Dubai the following week.

"If anything it's exciting to get out of New Zealand, get away from the scrutiny for a little bit, and come here and do what we do best," Vettori said.

"It's difficult from the perspective of having to front it all, I suppose, as captain and a selector as well. It means the focus has been on me for the explanation, so coming here takes a bit of heat off that."

Filling the void as coach adds to the responsibilities for Vettori, who is a key contributor with both bat and ball.

Still in the New Zealand camp are assistant coaches, Mark O'Donnell and Shane Jurgensen, while manager Dave Currie has an enhanced role in the team set-up.

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