Vettori asks team to rise to the occasion

February 25th, 2011 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

By Abhishek Roy
Nagpur, Feb 25 (IANS) Smarting from a seven-wicket thrashing by Australia here Friday, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori hoped his team can bounce back in the World Cup.
The loss at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Jamtha here was New Zealand’s 15th in 18 matches and Vettori admitted that the batting has been a big concern.

New Zealand were down to 63 for seven in the 17th over before Nathan McCullum (52) and Vettori (44) pulled them to 206 in 45.1 overs.

“We made a decent start but then lost too many wickets. A score of 260-270 should have been respectable on this wicket. Our performance with the bat was disappointing. Nathan McCullum played a gook knock, but it was not enough,” said Vettori.

“It (batting) has been a part of our game that we are not happy about. But we have a balanced side and I am hopeful that we can bounce back in the World Cup. It is a long tournament and not just a matter of one or two matches,” he added.

On Australia’s clinical performance, Vettori said: “They are a great team and the way they are playing in this tournament hasn’t surprised me. It shows why they are the No.1 ODI side.”

The left-arm spinner said they have a week’s time before their next encounter against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad on March 4, which will help them to work hard on the weak areas and keep their quarter-final hopes alive.

“We have to move past this quickly and play well against Zimbabwe. There are always areas to improve. Our fielding was outstanding but the bowlers need to back it up,” he said.

Vettori said that in big tournaments, big teams rise to the occasion and he expects something like that from his team.

“Big teams soak in the pressure. Even if they play dot balls they can make up for it later,” said Vettori, when pointed out that his team nearly played 11 overs of dotballs.

Asked about fast bowler Hamish Bennett, who conceded 63 runs from seven overs for his two wickets, Vettori said: “He was trying to take wickets and that’s what we were expecting from him. He might have gone for some runs, but he picked up two wickets as well.”

Vettori also denied that the devastating earthquake in Christchurch was a distraction.

“We are professional sportspersons and I don’t think it was a distraction. But I can say that what we are going through here is not compared to what the nation is suffering,” he said.

The New Zealand captain, who suffered a hamstring injury, said that Kyle Mills is fully fit while Scott Styris, who didn’t field, had a bruised finger and Bennett had cramps.

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