Black Caps coach Mike Hesson due some credit
Is Mike Hesson doing a good job?
When Mike Hesson took over as Black Caps coach he was criticised as being a nobody with no track record.
The logic seemed to be that as he had not played first class cricket he was not qualified, and only premier players could be good coaches.
Steve Hansen, Graham Henry and Jose Mourinho prove this theory wrong.
Others said he was too inexperienced. At the time, New Zealand was ranked eigth in the world in one day international and tests, and so coach of the Black Caps would have hardly been regarded as a plum job.
Hesson had coached Otago to its first silverware in a generation (a feat not achieved by Glenn Turner, the previous coach) and taken them to the IPL.
He had coached lesser international teams than New Zealand, so seemed suitably qualified.
Unlike the All Blacks job, we do not have the luxury of sending cricket coaches to other countries to prove their worth prior to hiring them to take on our national team. It would be hard to imagine a coach with prior international experience wanting to take on the Black Caps job at the time, and so we did well to secure a coach with a successful track record at domestic level.
Since he took the helm, the Black Caps have had series wins against England and South Africa away, and West Indies and India at home.
Critics were quick to point out the 45 all out against South Africa in South Africa, glossing over the fact that Australia were bundled out for a remarkably similar score.
By any metric, the Black Caps have done well.
Hesson has also proven his talents for picking players that can translate domestic success into international success - Matt Henry, Coery Anderson, Adam Milne - a transition that not every player makes immediately or easily.
The players themselves seem to be doing well under his guidance. There are no off-field antics making headlines, unlike for Australia or England. There are no disaffected tweets or loaded barbs in post match interviews.
I have also been impressed by his humility. He does not seek the limelight following on from major wins, instead letting the players enjoy the accolades. He is not prone to hyperbole or self aggrandisement.
He and Ross Taylor also seem to be functioning satisfactorily and Ross Taylor's performances have actually improved since being relieved of the captaincy.
If we are going to blame the coach for failures, we must also apportion credit where there is success. I find it hard to remember a time in New Zealand cricket when we have enjoyed such a positive run of results, and it didn't look like we were making ground under John Wright. If we want to be able to criticise when things go badly, we must be gracious enough to praise when things go well.
Hesson has done well. Anyone who watched Otago do well under him has not been surprised by his success at the national level.
Hopefully the critics are able to give credit where it is due.
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