Cricket: Vettori happy for Wright to coach

By David Leggat

Dan Vettori insists the New Zealand cricket team has no issue with the coaching credentials of people's favourite John Wright.

However, the national captain maintains that simply installing the former test opener and Indian coach ahead of February's World Cup over encumbent senior coach Mark Greatbatch is not a straightforward solution to arresting a dreadful slump.

Vettori also confirmed yesterday he would not be playing in the HRV Cup T20 for Northern Districts or against Pakistan in any of the three 20-over internationals at the end of this month to rest a back complaint.

Any resource to help the New Zealand side is welcome, he added.

"There's no talk of that," he said of speculation that the players were not enamoured of Wright as potential head coaching honcho.

"The guys are a pretty receptive and open group. Anyone who has come in has experienced that, like [former England coach] Duncan Fletcher and [former Pakistan spinner] Saqlain Mushtaq.

"There's no talk in the back rooms of 'no, this can't happen'. All the guys play for is to win, so anyone who can help is an asset."

However, Vettori said merely turning to Wright as a panacea for New Zealand's wretched run of 11 straight ODI defeats, was not the answer.

"It's definitely not as simple as that," he said. "John has been involved with the team quite a bit in the past as a specialist batting resource, and he's had a real influence on some of the guys.

"But when I talk to Wrighty he definitely wants total control and to do it his way. That's the hardest thing, when you've got a management structure in place, a lot of people involved and to simply take it all over in such a short timeframe is incredibly difficult."

Vettori confirmed he had contacted Wright before New Zealand went to India early last month to utilise his experience and knowledge of Indian players and conditions.

"John is high performance manager [for New Zealand Cricket] and I thought he'd be readily available and want to help out, but he wasn't really interested at the time.

"It didn't suit him and I suppose I can sit back and understand that it was a difficult assignment.

"I wanted to use him from the perspective of his experience and as a great New Zealand cricketer coming in and inspiring the group."

Meetings are taking place this week as the fallout from the Indian tour continues.

Vettori is seeing a specialist about his dicky back today. A problem flared up during the tests in India, when he had a substantial workload, as New Zealand drew the first two matches before losing the third, ahead of the 5-0 ODI drubbing.

"The plan is to try and get ready for the tests against Pakistan," Vettori said, the first five-dayer being in Hamilton from January 7-11.

"Tests are pretty important to me and it's a real opportunity to win and hopefully progress some of the good work we managed in India."

Vettori acknowledged players' spirits took a hit in India and hopes the domestic T20 can be the starting point for a mental revival.

"I hope the players get confidence from performances there and start remembering how much fun winning is," he said. "If before the World Cup we get a 4-2 or 5-1 result from the one-day series [against Pakistan] obviously there's going to be some confidence going through."

- NZ Herald

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