Despondency a no ball for Bob Carter
After being involved in five of the most tumultuous months in New Zealand Cricket's history, you'd forgive assistant coach Bob Carter the odd grumble.
Two test thrashings at the hands of South Africa last month, a "he-said, he-said" controversy over former captain Ross Taylor being axed for Brendon McCullum, and the side dropping below Bangladesh in the ODI rankings - that's all happened since Carter joined Mike Hesson in charge of the Black Caps.
Yet Carter remains positive. Stoically so.
His head's not in the sand. He knows there is plenty of room for improvement, especially in test cricket.
But he's a glass half full man; a positive person confident the work he, Hesson, bowling coach Shane Bond and the rest of the behind-the-scenes crew are doing will pay dividends. He's hopeful it will happen sooner rather than later.
When asked about the test losses, the captaincy shambles and the poor rankings all happening partly on his watch, Carter's quick to fling back counter-points.
"We've also has a great test win in Sri Lanka, the one-day series over there was ruined by rain, but we scored our highest ever ODI score in Sri Lanka. I think we did that too in South Africa. Plus we had a test hundred, then a historic one-day series win in South Africa for the first time including a brilliant individual hundred by Kane Williamson."
It's not posturing or defensive from Carter, it's just his way.
"If you're always looking at the downside of it, and you want to be the ultimate pessimist, you just can't do it, you can't look at it like that."
Asked about the Taylor captaincy saga, Carter played a straight bat. He sat in on the now infamous meeting where Hesson told Taylor of his axing, but kept his counsel when asked for his version of events.
"I've conveyed what happened in that meeting to my boss, the CEO [David White], and I'm happy with what I've said to him. That, at the moment, is all I'll say on it."
Back to cricket and Carter returns to his friendly engaging best.
One of the criticisms aimed at former coach John Wright's was that he was too "old school" while Hesson has been accused of both being too young and too analytical to succeed.
Carter fits nicely in the middle.
The former professional footballer - he played for Norwich City - started coaching in 1985 immediately after ending his eight season, 60-match first-class career.
He's a father of three, including son Leo, the Canterbury under-19 captain, and says his coaching philosophy is like everything, it has to adapt.
"I think I'm hands on, but I know nowadays it's important to document everything and use the information available to us."
He's also always trying to better himself.
"I want to keep on moving my own self forward. That's why I'm trying to develop myself as much as I can. I try and go on as many courses as possible and I'm a deep reader about the game. Other sports too."
He's just finished baseballer H.A. Dorfman's The Mental Keys to Hitting and says there's plenty to learn from other sports.
"A big shame for me was that before the earthquake, I had an office in QEII in an office full of coaches. Learning from those guys and talking, not just about cricket, was fantastic.
"Hearing how they do things and how they prepare for big events, etcetera, that really spins my wheels."
He's keen to be the Black Caps head coach eventually. "The more I can develop and keep myself physically fit moving forward then of course that's something I want to aspire to one day.
"And if they don't think I'm head coach material, then I'd love to run the high performance side of things."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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