Questions have been raised about New Zealand's Twenty 20 ethos after three consecutive defeats to Pakistan and Australia.

Should captain Kane Williamson be rested? Should coach Mike Hesson be replaced? Should internationals in the format be treated as a development arm of the game?

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These points are worthy of debate but the answers, at least through these eyes, are no, no and no.


Up until the second loss to Pakistan on January 25, New Zealand were the No.1 ranked T20 side – they are now No.2 behind Pakistan.

Australia were No.7 but selections based on Big Bash League form proved justified in the seven-wicket win at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.

However, this is no time to panic. If anything, as selectors Hesson, Gavin Larsen - and before him Bruce Edgar – have shown, loyalty brings rewards if the appropriate homework is done on players' abilities.

One problem for the current side is a consistent failure to perform in Australia.

New Zealand's last win there came in the 2011 Hobart test under the coaching reign of John Wright.

In eight contests since - three tests, four one-day internationals including the World Cup final, and one T20 - their best was a draw in the 2015 Perth test.

Visitors need time and/or experience to acclimatise to the Australian environment which, as generations of players will attest, is arguably the world's most brutal.

Teams are bombarded by intimidation when they land, be it from the public, media, opposition, pitches, ground sizes or the country's cricketing pedigree.

Tactically, Williamson's place in the T20 order is a moot point. Ideally he should open where his strike rate (121) and average (38.52) in 27 T20 innings trumps seven outings at No.3 (strike rate 111 and average 21.66).

Perhaps he could be switched with Colin Munro whose numbers at No.3 in 13 innings (strike rate 157, average 30.41) remain valuable compared to nine innings opening (strike rate 171, average 57).

The thought of New Zealand choosing to play without Williamson defies belief, unless they want to devalue the format. Yes, creeping to eight off 21 balls at the SCG was a poor look, but Australia weren't bowling pies. Just because he refuses to paste everything through cow-corner doesn't make him any less of a T20 batsman. Ask the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who bid $640,000 for his services in this season's Indian Premier League. His fielding, and potentially bowling, are also assets.

Besides, what's the alternative?

Is it preferable to drop Williamson, let New Zealand's batsmen tee off helter-skelter and get dismissed for the T20 equivalent of their test match worst 26 against England in 1955? That result saw them lampooned by the cricketing world for generations.

A Plan B should always be accessible. Williamson provides that option better than anyone.

The thought of repositioning Hesson mid-contract also generates head-scratching.

He has signed to coach and select the New Zealand team across all formats until the 2019 World Cup.

The Black Caps have had unprecedented success under his watch. Arguments he is away from his family for sustained periods held weight in previous seasons – although no-one is forcing him to sign the contract – but last winter only held the Champions Trophy. The upcoming winter looks bereft of matches.

To address the final point, if selectors Hesson and Larsen chose to propagate players through T20s, surely that would dilute the credibility of the format and treats fans with disrespect.

If people fork out hard-earned income to see the Black Caps, they deserve to see the best regardless of format.

The Super Smash is the nest for development, otherwise international matches become meaningless.

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