Anendra Singh: We're spinning out of control

By Anendra Singh

Spin remains the biggest Achilles heel for New Zealand cricket never mind which angle you analyse it from.

As batsmen, we can't play spin to save ourselves.

In bowling, we are depleted when it comes to quality spinners and, more significantly, we are nowhere near finding a decent spin coach.

Now, add to that our inability as a cricketing nation to put a spin on things without looking totally inept.

Frankly, the Ross Taylor debacle is the sort of thing you expect to see at age-group, club and provincial level where ogres bully players into submission.

You are dumped as an opening batsman if you occupy the crease for too long but don't make enough runs only to find, not long after, it's perfectly all right for another batsman to do that amid vociferous acclaim.

If you do one thing exceptionally well then you're one dimensional and yet some players on the paddock can't throw a ball at the stumps to save themselves.

If you have high-twitch fibres that enable you to be the fastest between the wickets then that's not good enough. You need to be able to run half marathons to prove your fitness.

Basically, if the coach has your butt in a sling then boy you had better watch your back at all times.

It beggars belief that virus could creep into the Black Caps' hierarchy but, because it happens at grassroots level, then it's hardly surprising.

Taylor's crime - he failed to build a rapport with new coach Mike Hesson.

Excuse me? Has anyone bothered pinning down Hesson on the Petrie dish of communication?

No, it seems Hesson is gospel according to New Zealand Cricket.

Unable to strike a chord with Taylor, the former Otago Volts coach had no qualms dealing with Brendon McCullum.

Taylor has since revealed brother Nathan McCullum was the other choice of captaincy on tour although he had recommended Kane Williamson.

Intelligent choice Williamson and that speaks volumes about Taylor's vision.

In some ways, NZ Cricket has gone the full cycle.

Under the old regime of John Bracewell and Andy Mole a Lord of the Flies culture prevailed.

Now, the old boys' network philosophy has returned.

The appalling fiasco surrounding Taylor has all the hallmarks of a military coup.

Having deposed Taylor, watch the instigators turn on each other.

Even if Taylor's allegations that Hesson and NZC told porkies are inconclusive, the fact remains the Central Districts player was gifted a Hobson's choice.

To retain captaincy of the test team was always going to be the short straw because we are simply incapable of playing the longer format right now, despite historic wins against Australia and Sri Lanka.

Brendon McCullum, who has already sent an SOS for Jesse Ryder's return, will find relative success in the shorter formats quicker than any incremental ones in tests.

What it effectively boils down to is if the Hesson-McCullum combination fails to do better than Taylor's success rate on the South African tour than the pair should resign.

What's even scarier is trying to make sense of where New Zealand director of cricket John Buchanan sits in all this.

Having told me last month there would be no changes, is Buchanan likely to be the next prominent NZC member to be sent packing?

Are there elements on the NZC board who have succumbed to pressures from the old boys' network that a couple of Ockers, including convenor of selectors Kim Littlejohn, have no idea as to what makes New Zealand cricket tick.

Brendon McCullum has expressed his disgust at media and fans casting aspersions on his character and role in the whole issue.

I know what I would have done if Hesson and NZ Cricket had approached me to usurp the position of my "bosom pal".

The honourable thing would have been to say: "Look fellows, I'll step up to perform leadership duties when Roscoe steps down of his own volition."

Knowing McCullum missed out to Taylor by the skin of his teeth and had everything to benefit from under achievements, one has to ask the question: "How hard did anti-Taylor types perform in games?"

It's tantamount to asking veteran cricketers in elite teams to help out youngsters who are inevitably going to replace them.

What is the vets' incentive in hastening the process of curtailing their careers?

Conversely, Taylor should rest and let teammates carve runs on tour.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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