Mark Richardson 's Opinion

Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Richardson: R&R fine in theory but...

It's a recognised theory but I cannot agree with the method of rotation the Black Caps are using to prepare for the World Cup.

Maybe I could buy it if the team had experienced extended success and stability in the recent past and is looking for finishing touches but this is not the case. I could also be sold on it if I felt the World Cup will require differing teams and batting orders for each game.

This team have the capability to win a World Cup but, for that to happen, everything will need to click and go their way. They will not win if key players do not perform or are missing - so I would prepare my team for a plan A scenario because plan B won't be good enough.

Plan A is find the best team, the right batting order, the bowling method, the best method of play to suit the players ... and then hammer away at it.

This team need confidence.

Confidence is gained by doing your thing with success and regularly. I just can't see how changing things each game is going to build confidence.

Rotation gives players experience and opportunity but how much is gained from a game or two?

Cricket is a game judged over time. One or two games are just too few to truly know if a player is right for a position or role.

Management may sell rotation to the players - after all they have no option - but you must be very careful not to sell them confusion, frustration, doubt and a sense of being underdone. What player doesn't like stability?

James Franklin could be a crucial boundary hitter later in the innings but this series could be half over by the time he gets a bat. Jesse Ryder is as key a player as you get but he finally finds form and then gets a sit down.

If two spinners are to be played in the sub-continent, then Nathan McCullum and Daniel Vettori must play every game, not just for their own personal bowling but also so Vettori feels comfortable with the way he can best use their 20 potential overs.

Remember the last team that rested and rotated before a World Cup and what happened?

Comparing rugby to cricket is like apples to oranges but resting players when it is not a physical wellbeing requirement has a history of failure.

After the World Cup the Black Caps management may be in a position to thumb their noses at me, and I hope they can.

Right now I think what they are doing is fine in theory but, in reality, stupid.

- Herald on Sunday

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Hunter Richardson represented New Zealand in 38 Tests from 2000-2004 racking up an impressive 2,776 runs with an average of 44.7. The former Black Cap began his cricketing career as a left-arm spinner but soon realised that his talents lay with the bat. The transition from ball to bat was seamless and Richardson soon made his international debut against Zimbabwe at the age of 29. Known as a stalwart opener, Richardson’s intelligent style of hard-grind batting came at the perfect time for New Zealand cricket and provided much-needed stability for the Black Caps. Apart from being an excellent opening batsman, Mark Richardson was well-known among fans and team mates for his humorous off-pitch antics and friendly interactions with the famous Beige Brigade, with whom he formed a strong relationship. An excellent cricketer with a personable quality, Richardson once remarked that his retiring first-class average was only different to that of Sir Donald Bradman by a decimal point. Mark Richardson retired from all forms of the game in 2004 and continues to write an insightful, thought-provoking column for the New Zealand Herald.

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