Wellington: Former New Zealand ODI captain Craig McMillan believes the national team’s campaign is teetering alarmingly just two months before the World Cup.
McMillan is concerned that the team is lacking confidence on and off the field, its batting tentative, and batsmen Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson playing in the wrong positions.
The eight-wicket defeat in Jaipur was New Zealand’s eighth consecutive loss in completed ODIs since August, when they beat the same opponents by 200 runs in Dambulla.
McMillan said: “There’s a lot of question marks over how the side is travelling, the direction it is heading and the performances of the players.”
“Confidence has to be low. It was low after they came back from Bangladesh. Individuals would have taken some heart out of the first two test matches but they’ve got to start winning games to get that confidence back. They’re running out of time.
“I’m concerned about what I’m seeing. It’s not ideal with the World Cup just around the corner,” Stuff.co.nz quoted McMillan, as saying.
The big worry is that New Zealand was seemingly struggling in the exact conditions they will face at the World Cup.
They lost the final two completed matches in Sri Lanka, emerged from Bangladesh with a 4-0 defeat and now are 2-0 down in the five-match series in India.
In McMillan’s ideal ODI lineup, Taylor should bat three and Williamson five.
“It’s important that the top-three create a strike rate and Williamson to me is a player that needs some time at the crease to get going. Three is not the right position for him and that showed in the first game where the second batting powerplay was 0-11 off five,” he said.