New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori admitted his free-hitting batsmen went outside the gameplan yesterday, but wants them given a chance to make amends against the West Indies.
Vettori added a note of caution to calls for change in the top six for the first test against West Indies starting in Dunedin on December 11 despite his disappointment at their capitulation in the loss to Australia by an innings and 62 run defeat in the second test here.
The rot set in from the day's second ball when Aaron Redmond hit a catch to point immediately after he cracked Brett Lee for four.
At No 3, Jesse Ryder perished in similar fashion and New Zealand soon slumped to 84 for six before being dismissed for 203 as Brendon McCullum blazed 84 not out, New Zealand's highest innings of the series.
"It wasn't just Aaron, it wasn't our intention to go out there in an attacking mode," Vettori said.
"It was to bat through the day, try and bat through the first session tomorrow and get ourselves a chance to set up the game but nothing went to plan.
"I think the application is the big key because we all acknowledge they are pretty talented players, the Ryders, the Taylors, the Hows - the top six are extremely talented players and now we need to find a way of them consistently scoring runs."
Of the New Zealand top six, Ross Taylor averaged 40 in the two-test series, while Daniel Flynn was next best with 29.33 and Redmond 28.75.
Vettori said everything needed to go to plan for New Zealand to challenge Australia in their own conditions and with the bat "nothing went right".
A glum Vettori said outgoing coach John Bracewell should not bear the brunt for the team slipping to No 8 in the world test rankings with the 0-2 series defeat.
"He has always set up the right plans for us and the right environment for us to succeed and in the end it's been the players that have let him down with performance."
The team return home today for a few days' rest, then assemble in Dunedin with new coach Andy Moles at the weekend for the first test.
Allrounder Jame Franklin might come into the frame to replace a batsman, with doubt over the status of Jacob Oram's cracked left index finger.
"But (otherwise) there isn't a weight of runs there to say 'pick me' over the guys that are here," Vettori said.