Wellington: New Zealand’s top six batsmen have been given a short, sharp reminder as to what is expected from them when they face Pakistan in the second Test that starts in Wellington on Sunday.
“Bat time,” coach John Wright told reporters when asked what he had told his team after New Zealand were bowled out in a session in their second innings in the first Test.
Pakistan won the Test in Hamilton by 10 wickets after they bowled the hosts out for 110, of which 35 runs were scored by Brendon McCullum, on a batsmen-friendly pitch.
“We’ve got to try and get that top order functioning better,” Wright added. “Whatever we plan, and they’re pretty simple plans, we’ve got to be disciplined enough to get the job done.
“You find in sport it’s about hard work, learning from your mistakes and having the real inner desire to personally succeed.
“We’ve got players who have got that. We just have to get our house in order and concentrate on what we do.”
New Zealand’s top six had received some support from captain Daniel Vettori after the first Test at Seddon Park, stating they had all produced runs during the Tests in India in November, though the state of the Basin Reserve pitch may force changes to the New Zealand side.
Groundsman Brett Sipthorpe had said the pitch would provide more pace and bounce than at Seddon Park, which could see all-rounder James Franklin brought into the side.
Franklin could potentially replace an out-of-sorts Tim McIntosh in the starting team with the batting order rejigged.
If McIntosh were to be dropped, Martin Guptill would probably move up to open with McCullum and Franklin either playing at number three, or the rest of the top order moving up to allow him to bat at six.
His elevation to the starting side would also add variety to the trio of right-arm medium-fast bowlers, with the left-armer’s ability to swing the ball back into right-handed batsmen an option.
“He may miss out but you’ve got to consider all options and here, there’s a little bit more grass on this wicket,” Wright said.
“There may be some sideways movement but there’ll be more pace, and we’ve got to get 20 wickets also.”