Trying to the last; that's how Daniel Vettori wants to be remembered as a test captain after his four years at the helm of the Black Caps ended in series defeat to Pakistan.
He'd so wanted to sign off with a seventh win as skipper but a true Wellington Basin Reserve pitch and stout Pakistan batting saw the second test end in a draw yesterday and a 1-0 series win to the tourists.
Vettori always said he would step down as captain after next month's world cup, meaning this was the last time he would lead New Zealand over the rope in a test match.
"Test cricket's part of the game I love and I want to play for as long as I can. There's a lot of things I still want to achieve, so there's no way I'm stepping away from test cricket," he said after the match.
He added that it wasn't for him to judge the way his test tenure would be remembered. "I think it's for other people to say those things. But I walk away from the captaincy, knowing that I gave it everything, particularly with my performance."
Vettori, who finishes with a record of six wins, 16 losses and 10 draws from his 32 tests in charge, said two victories stood out – "... the test win against England [at Hamilton in 2008] and the test win against Pakistan [Dunedin, 2009]".
"It's a very different squad from the one I started captaining four years ago and I think there's some talented players there.
"If we can get the most out of the likes of [Ross] Taylor, [Jesse] Ryder, [Brendon] McCullum in the years to come, [Martin] Guptill and [Kane] Williamson, I think there's an exciting team there."
- The Dominion Post
Was a life ban from cricket a fair punishment for Lou Vincent?Related story: (See story)