Key Points:

Given New Zealand's top order batting woes, there is a symmetry to the appointment of Andy Moles as national team coach, effective from next week.

Moles, by his own admission a doughty, unspectacular opening batsman, made the best of limited natural abilities primarily for Warwickshire for 12 seasons, hitting over 15,000 first-class runs, and retiring with an average of 40.

What New Zealand wouldn't give for a player with those numbers now.

He'll also be aware that Matthew Bell, unwanted since the end of England's tour here in March, hit his second hundred in as many games this season, 122, for Wellington against Auckland at Eden Park yesterday.

So among his first tasks when he takes over from John Bracewell after this week's second test against Australia in Adelaide will be the opening batting dilemma.

Moles, whose contract runs to the end of the 2011 World Cup, admitted the coaching position is "not the easiest in the world, but a great challenge, and I've never backed away from a challenge".

He spoke in bullish terms about the role, and will be an unswerving supporter of his players, but won't be afraid to make changes.

Moles' name was among the shortlisted field of six, and yesterday he sounded as if he might have had a dollar or two on his chances.

"Personally I always thought I was the right person for the job, with my local knowledge of the players and conditions in New Zealand," he said.

"I've no doubt in my own personal work ethic and beliefs that I am the right person to move this group forward and I'm relishing the opportunity. I'm really passionate about this."

He said that although a new voice will mean some change "I'm not going to come in with a fresh canvas and paint a totally different picture. That would be wholly wrong".

Moles would not talk about the current New Zealand batting lineup, but made it clear he has his own ideas.

"I do have thoughts but I'd like to keep my own counsel. I have spoken to [captain] Dan Vettori and it's really something myself and the selectors will discuss."

And Moles - in his third season in charge of Northern Districts, which he'll relinquish after this week's State Championship match against Central Districts - made it clear he won't be a headline grabber. "It's not about me, it's about the players, and I shan't be seeking [to be] back page news.

"I'm there to support them, and make sure they have the right processes in place to get them playing to the best of their ability."

The inside tip to get the job, New South Wales coach Matthew Mott, withdrew on Sunday. However, Moles had been firmly in NZC's sights, according to NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan. It had not been a case of suddenly having to find another jockey. Wheels had been moving for some time to cover all eventualities.

"Andy brings leadership, passion, commitment and a drive to get the best out of his teams, attributes we believe are essential for this role," said Vaughan yesterday.

Former test captain John Wright will join the national selection panel, alongside incumbents Glenn Turner and Dion Nash from next week.

And the fate of specialist coaches, such as former Wellington bowler Vaughan Johnson and ex-New South Wales batsman Mark O'Neill, lies largely in Moles' hands. The coaches were appointed for the Bracewell era, and their time is split between NZC and national team duties.

"It's up to Andy over the course of the next week or so, in consultation with Dan and other people, to determine what his best support structure is," Vaughan added. "If certain coaches are not required for the West Indies series, we have other uses for them."

Bracewell, who guided New Zealand to the semifinals at the Champions Trophy, World Cup and Twenty20 world championship in the last three years, is returning to English county Gloucestershire next season.

ANDY MOLES FILE
Born: Feb 12, 1961, Solihull
First-class teams: Warwickshire, Griqualand West, 1986-97
First-class games: 230
Runs: 15,305 at 40.7
Centuries: 29, highest score 230 not out (Griqualand West v Northern Transvaal B, 1989)
Coached: Scotland, Kenya, England under 19, Northern Districts