READER REPORT:

'Jury still out' on Mike Hesson

KEVIN KEYS
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2014
Mike hesson
Photosport

MIKE HESSON: The Black Caps have shown some great form recently under his coaching.

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Is Mike Hesson doing a good job?

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The jury is still out on Mike Hesson's coaching.

We're doing very well at present but I hope Hesson and the other selectors don't fall in to the trap of sitting on their backsides while certain members of the team continue to fail.

The philosophy of not changing a winning team has little merit in an individualised sport like cricket.

New Zealand clearly has a problem with three members of the team. Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton are not up to it as openers, so  one has to assume the selectors don't see any viable alternatives.

Why not try Jessie Ryder and Tom Latham at the top of the order? Maybe Jessie Ryder's latest 'slip-up' wouldn't have happened if he had been playing in the first test against India?

Ish Sodi, despite his promise, is clearly out of his depth at present.

With spin bowling, it is possible that there are no viable alternatives. Nathan McCullum is not considered good enough for test cricket and there is an argument that Kane Williamson is the best test-bowling spinner available. I am sure he would be amused and probably a bit embarrassed by such a suggestion.

This is a tough call for the selectors. Should they persist with Sodi when he is likely to be an expensive fourth bowler for a considerable period to come?

The jury should also still out over Neil Wagner, despite his first test success. No-one is denying his enthusiasm, work-ethic and dedication, but is he really a long-term prospect as the third seamer? He has a major physical disadvantage, his lack of height, which no amount of energy or hard-work can overcome.

This is an area where we do have a number of viable alternatives, such as Mitchell McClenaghan and Matt Henry. I'm afraid I can't include Hamish Bennett in this list. As a fast-bowling purist, I cringe every-time I see him bowl with his ungainly action.

This discussion is about Mike Hesson's contribution as coach of the BlackCaps, but this is hard to judge by an outsider looking in. Regrettably, a coach can only be judged from the outside by the quality of the results their team achieves and by the success of the individuals chosen for the team.

With the few exceptions noted above, Mike Hesson is performing well at present.


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