Unperturbed by criticism of their conservative approach to batting in the T20 World Cup recently, New Zealand coach Gary Stead on Sunday said there’s “still room for pure batsmanship” in the slam-bang format.
The Black Caps failed to win a global ICC white-ball tournament once again when they lost to Pakistan by seven wickets in the semi-finals in Australia earlier this month after their batters failed to fire and managed a modest 152/4.
“I know there’s a lot of chat around a number of players around the world in the T20 game but, in my opinion, many of the wickets we play on, it’s not just about the game of crash bash the whole time,” the 50-year-old told reporters here after the second ODI against India was abandoned because of rain.
“We have a couple of players with Devon (Conway) and Kane (Williamson) who probably put in that crafty kind of batsmanship as opposed to that crash-bash style from ball one. There is still a place for those players in my opinion. The World Cup in Australia actually showed a number of times that the batsmanship side of it comes into it.”
Handshakes 🤝 all around after the second ODI is called off due to rain.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2022
England, who became the only team to hold both the ODI and T20 World Cups titles in the same cycle, have been successful with the template of playing fearless and aggressive cricket from ball one.
“You have to look at the resources within your group and then you got to look at what the gameplan is. Some teams are going down the method of boundary-hitting the whole time.
“But we showed in a couple of games that there’s a different way of playing as well. The team selected are the best XV or XI that we had,” the former Kiwi Test batter said, defending their strategy.
“For us, that’s still the way we are playing the game. That may change again we have to keep reviewing our style of play and making sure that we keep up with play.” Stead further said they had a par score against Pakistan in the semis, but it’s their bowlers who let them down.
“It’s more than just batting in T20 cricket, it’s also your bowlers. Pakistan bowled exceedingly well at us, but we had a score that was potentially defendable. We just didn’t start best with the ball in the game,” he said.
The reigning World Test champions have had a superb run with five consecutive World Cup semi-final appearances since 2015, which included two final outings in 2019 (ODI) and 2021 (T20) editions.
“We have had a number of consistencies in our team. We try to be consistent with our selections and the way we go about selecting the side.
“We have had a number of players that you look at history that would be New Zealand greats as well. you put that sort of stuff together. The guys have done that really well over the last 6-8 years,” he said.
Surya, a huge force in world cricket at the moment
The Kiwi coach hailed India’s latest white-ball sensation Suryakumar Yadav who sizzled with his powerful performances during the T20 showpiece.
“He makes it look terribly easy at times and extremely hard to bowl to because he can access both sides of the ground, he starts from ball one and puts you under enormous pressure.
“He’s very innovative as well, his shots are a little bit different. He can look up to the field and have 2-3 options, it makes him very hard to defend against.
“He’s a huge force in world cricket at the moment. he’s probably one of the most sought-after wickets i would imagine in world cricket,” he added.
Rain played spoilsport as the second ODI between New Zealand and India was called off after a lengthy delay. The hosts, who lead the three-match series 1-0, gained crucial Super League points to rise to No. 3 on the table.
“It’s nice to hear that, the rankings for me are little bit of relevant for. But once the game starts its two teams playing against each other.”
“It’s disappointing for team and fans, they didn’t get to see two quality sides going hard at it.
“It was pretty tough out there to grip the ball once it started drizzling. with the new ball it was hard to grip.
“(Lockie) Ferguson bowled with good pace, Matt Henry looked good at crease… We can still take some positive signs,” he added.