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Let it be known that Black Cap Jacob Oram is not one to bitch. And before anyone reads too much into it, he has no qualms about having rookies and junior national or provincial teammates scrutinising any perceived inadequacies he may have.

The Central Districts cricketer told SportToday he had no qualms with an Australian-based corporate team-building exercise called "Leading Teams" introduced under former Caps coach John Bracewell.

"I think it's good and it has empowered players and given us a chance to be more honest and be accountable for our own actions," said Oram, after day three of the Stags' State Championship against Otago Volts at McLean Park, Napier, yesterday.
Satisfied his back and the more worrying finger had come through okay, the lanky allrounder said the Aussie concept, which had been widely criticised in Sunday newspapers, was a common theme in sports teams and a strong one.

It was, he said, easy to form a correlation on the concept based on public scrutiny from performances on the park.

"For someone who has been involved since its start, I can see a lot of benefits from it.

"What it's done is created an environment where guys are being more honest with each other. Basically there's a no excuse mentality."

He said there was speculation in the media and a lot of it was wrong, especially pertaining to filling out forms in 30 to 40-minute debriefings after games.

"I don't want to get into a bitching fight with some other people who have commented, but all I can say is that not everything people have been hearing or reading about is going on.

"I've got no problem with that. In fact I'd like it to happen more often.

"I think everyone's entitled to their opinion. I don't care if they have played one game or 100."

He said there was nothing worse than the captain, vice-captain and a few senior players hogging a meeting.

While some players weren't vocal, Oram said it was vital for an ideal team to have an environment where everyone could contribute to how players performed.

New Caps coach Andy Moles might dilute the concept and the side might not have a Leading Teams person travelling with them, he said.

"It's totally his prerogative and Dan's [skipper Daniel Vettori] as well, because they call the shots.

"Under John [Bracewell] he wanted it there and he wanted it a lot more and I can completely understand that. That was John's call and Andy's coming from a completely different perspective," said Oram, claiming that if the Caps win the Windies series then Moles would "become the messiah".

Bracewell, he said, was the best coach he had played under.

"Again, like Leading Teams, the correlation is pretty easy to make between our results and not being a good coach. I'm pro-John and a lot of people aren't. I know of a lot of people he's wound up the wrong way.

"A couple of players, if you read their autobiographies lately, and a few people outside the environment didn't understand him and where he was coming from. He was such a passionate guy. What I really liked was that he basically put a lot of trust and faith into the players, rightly or wrongly at times."

His game progressed to another level when Bracewell took over and suddenly thrust the responsibility on each player to lift their own game.

While agreeing Caps batsmen lacked patience and experience, Oram was hopeful they wouldn't have to go through another six, 12 or 18 months for consistency.

"Hopefully we'll stick with these talented guys and it'll come to fruition."

- HAWKE'S BAY TODAY