Soft on themselves, is how outgoing Black Caps coach John Wright views his batsmen.
It's hardly a news flash to those who watch them, but a damning assessment coming from their coach.
He says he leaves the team as a good fielding unit that's building a good crop of quick bowlers, but the batsmen sound like they infuriate him.
Wright said his last test in charge, Monday's five-wicket loss to the West Indies in Jamaica, ought to have been won. Instead the batsmen made familiar mistakes, he said, and were bowled out for just 154 in their second innings to deservedly surrender the series 2-0.
"You have to have self-responsibility and be accountable for your actions in the middle and you just can't come off and wave it away with phrases like ‘That's the way I play' and ‘I didn't quite execute' etcetera, etcetera," Wright said.
"You have to be very brutal in your self-analysis and very honest and the other aspect is that it's very helpful if your team-mates are brutally honest with you and if you play an inappropriate shot, at any stage, then you know that if you go back into that dressing room you know that you're going to not exactly get a welcome."
Strong standards and peer pressure were definitely "an area we can grow in", he added.
The only batsman for pay for a poor tour of the West Indies is Dean Brownlie. James Franklin has replaced him in the 15-man squad which heads to India for a two-test series, starting on August 23.
Franklin is one of the finer batsmen on the domestic circuit but has rarely looked as comfortable in the test arena, where he averages 21.
"Totally and this is a great opportunity for him now," national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said.
Daniel Vettori is not fit to travel and has been replaced by offspinner Jeetan Patel, who Littlejohn hopes will bowl in tandem with uncapped legspinner Tarun Nethula.
"He [Patel] has toured there before and taking out the experience of Dan Vettori meant we needed to go back to someone who had some test experience," said Littlejohn.
"It's a massive ask to throw in a young guy who's yet to play a test match and ask him to carry the spinning attack and this actually gives us a really good balance now."
Vettori might join the team for the two Twenty20 internationals which follow the tests, but with September/October's T20 world cup in Sri Lanka the priority, Littlejohn said Vettori would not be rushed.
The Indian trip will be Mike Hesson's first as the new head coach and Wright was quick to wish him and the team all the best.
Wright hoped Hesson would get "what he needs" from New Zealand Cricket to make a decent fist of the job.
"I'd also like to say it's been an incredible privilege for me to coach my country and I've had fantastic support from the cricketing public and I very much appreciate that."
New Zealand team for two-test tour to India: Ross Taylor (c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tarun Nethula, Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee, Kruger van Wyk, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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