Black Caps turn a deaf ear - Greatbatch

00:01, Aug 29 2012
Black Caps v India
New Zealand's Doug Bracewell celebrates taking the wicket of India's Virender Sehwag (R) during the first day.
Black Caps v India
India's Sachen Tendulkar hits a shot during the first day of their first test cricket match against New Zealand in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
India's Gautam Gambhir hits a shot during the first day of their first test cricket match against New Zealand in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
India's Sachin Tendulkar is clean bowled by New Zealand's Trent Boult during the first day of their first test cricket match in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
India's Sachin Tendulkar (L) walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed as New Zealand's Trent Boult (C) celebrates with teammates during the first day.
Black Caps v India
India's Cheteshwar Pujara raises his bat to celebrate scoring a century during the first day of their first test cricket match against New Zealand.
Black Caps v India
India's Cheteshwar Pujara (back) is embraced by teammate Suresh Raina after scoring a century during the first day of their first test cricket match against New Zealand.
Black Caps v India
India's Cheteshwar Pujara hits a shot during the first day of their first test cricket match against New Zealand.
Black Caps v India
India's Cheteshwar Pujara hits a shot against New Zealand in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni raises his bat to celebrate scoring 50 runs during the second day of their first test cricket match against New Zealand in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
New Zealand's captain Ross Taylor (C) watches as India's Virat Kohli (R) dives to takes a catch to dismiss him off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin during the second day of their first test cricket match in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
India's Pragyan Ojha (R) jumps in the air with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he celebrates taking the wicket of New Zealand's Brendon McCullum during the second day of their first test cricket match in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
New Zealand's Jeetan Patel bowls during the second day of their first test cricket match in Hyderabad.
Black Caps v India
India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) appeals successfully for the LBW wicket of New Zealand's Daniel Flynn (C) off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin during the second day of their first test cricket match in Hyderabad.

Former New Zealand batting coach Mark Greatbatch has questioned whether today's Black Caps have taken on board years of coaching and advice.

The tourists' vulnerability against spin bowling was ruthlessly exposed in their innings and 115-run defeat to India in the first test, where 18 of the 20 New Zealand wickets fell to spinners.

Though conditions were always going to be tough for batting after day one in Hyderabad, Greatbatch believed the poor return against the spinners was part of a bigger problem.

Daniel Flynn
LESSONS NOT LEARNT: India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) appeals successfully for the LBW wicket of New Zealand's Daniel Flynn.

"You can only teach them so much, they have to take it on board and I'm questioning whether or not they are," he said.

"In the last four or five years, there have been people who have worked with players on playing spin and you'd have to question whether or not the information being delivered and talked about is being held on to.

"The top 20 to 30 fringe players have had access to resources and coaches, you name it, they've had it, but they're not getting any better in that department."

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The side's last three tests, where spin has accounted for 36 wickets, could be offered as exhibits A, B and C to Greatbatch's claim.

There might have been as many as 40-50 people that have worked with the batsmen in one capacity or another in the past 10 years, he said.

"A cynic would ask if all that information they've been given is any good, but when you have guys like John Wright, myself, John Bracewell, Andy Moles, Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee involved, you'd suggest we know a thing or two about it.

"The reality is you have to learn quickly over there, but there are basic fundamentals of playing spin."

Greatbatch, who is being used by Central Districts for a training session on playing spin bowling this week, said batsmen needed to work on judging length first, and looking to get forward as often as they could.

"I'm not saying they have to go forward, but they have to look to; it's easier to go back from there if you need to, but going forward once you've gone back is much harder."

The tourists travelled to Bengaluru yesterday as they try to conjure a way of improving against Ravichandran Ashwin in Friday's second test. The towering off-spinner took 12-85 in Hyderabad as New Zealand were dismissed for a combined 313 in 141 overs.

Kane Williamson was the pick of an average crop in Hyderabad, and admitted he would go against years of domestic coaching in his second test approach.

The No 3 batted 311 minutes and said the biggest lesson learned was from the Indian batsmen. And it was a seemingly unorthodox one.

"One thing that's been quite clear is, growing up in New Zealand we've been taught to hit with the spin whereas their players tend to bat the other way and hit back into the spin," Williamson said.

"It's quite a change but it's something they all look to do, so it's quite a clear difference and something that our batsmen are looking at as potential options."

Williamson explained it wasn't just recklessly hitting against the turning delivery, but getting into good position.

"It's about giving yourself a bit more room in terms of where you bat so you have that option rather than the ball always spinning into your pads and getting caught up."

Captain Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill were both removed prodding forward to bat-pad catches in the first innings, then offered no shot in their second innings dismissals. Daniel Flynn will also need to review his technique after twice being trapped lbw attempting sweep shots.

But Williamson disagreed his team-mates were gun-shy against spin.

"It's important that each batsman has a clear message so we go out and have that confidence to play the shots that we feel are required and spend a lot of time out there and enjoy the challenge of it. It's not easy, seeing as it's something we're not faced with a lot."

Meanwhile, former fast bowler Shane Bond looms as an obvious frontrunner for the job of New Zealand bowling coach after Damien Wright stepped down yesterday. The Australian, appointed in July 2011, will end his stint after next month's World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, citing time away from his family as the main reason.

Bond has worked with Central Districts and also mentored a group of promising fast bowlers in recent years. NZ Cricket will advertise the role this week.

Fairfax Media