Former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum has blasted Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor for what he called "terrible" running between the wickets while former coach Mike Hesson has revealed how the team would be "on edge" every time the pair were at the crease.

This follows after the Black Caps had three close calls en route to a narrow two-wicket World Cup win against Bangladesh at The Oval in London that sent them top of the table after two games.

Taylor, who has a history of poor running between the wickets and who has been found short of his ground on 29 occasions in his international career, was involved in all three mix-ups, two while batting with Williamson, and one with Jimmy Neesham.

At 61-2 in their chase of 245 for victory, Taylor pushed a delivery from Shakib Al Hasan to mid-on, making the call for a quick single, but Williamson hesitated.


The throw to the opposite end had Williamson well short of his ground but the skipper was given a life when replays showed Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim had accidentally knocked the bails off with his elbow before the ball had arrived.

Taylor was left to scramble for his crease only two overs later after Williamson called for a quick single straight to a fielder.

More hesitation followed in the 34th when Neesham was slow off the mark in reacting to Taylor's call but made his ground by a frame despite a direct hit at the striker's end.

McCullum, the captain of the Black Caps' 2015 World Cup team, could hardly hide his frustration in the commentary box after the match.

"Great New Zealand batsmen, terrible runners between the wickets. Absolutely shocking together, these two," McCullum said.

Hesson, the 2015 coach, added: "They're actually both good runners between the wickets, they're just dreadful when they run together."

Hesson later admitted the 2015 squad "were certainly on edge" when Williamson and Taylor were in the middle together.

Taylor admitted luck played some part in the Black Caps' win but insisted there's no reason to worry about the team's running between the wickets.


"Obviously we were very lucky with the first one with Kane and then I think I was in by one centimetre and I think Jimmy was in by half a centimetre," Taylor told the media after their win.

"You know, we talk about innings and that, and it's part and parcel of cricket.

"I always do love batting with Kane, and he's great to be batting with, but we had a bit of luck."

New Zealand's Kane Williamson, left, and Ross Taylor run between the wickets. Photo / AP
New Zealand's Kane Williamson, left, and Ross Taylor run between the wickets. Photo / AP

Despite the poor running at the crease and the stuttering chase, Taylor said the win under pressure sets the team up for the rest of the tournament.

"We were put under pressure, and we came out with the right result and I think that bodes well for the tournament," said Taylor.

"It's not going to be the last time we'll be put under pressure in this tournament, and it's nice we got out on the other end with the win, and I'm sure that will bode well when we are put under pressure when we're batting first or batting second."

New Zealand's next match is against Afghanistan on Sunday