Nathan Astle: Black Cap batsmen must step up

Updated: Mar 24, 2011, 18:23 PM IST

Wellington: Former New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle believes that the Black Caps must not mix it up and play three spinners in the match on Friday against South Africa, but include an extra batsman, who he thinks are going to get quite a substantial total.

“They also have to go with their top XI and to me that`s Nathan McCullum and Vettori being the spinners then the likes of Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, Mills and Southee bowling the rest of the overs. That`s enough bowlers to be effective on the pitch that they are playing on,” said Astle in article for a New Zealand newspaper.

“The Dhaka pitch will be a little bit slower which could work in New Zealand`s favour. The South Africans obviously have a solid pace attack, along with a couple of very good spinners, but the slowness of the pitch will make their strike bowlers less effective,” he added.

“The biggest obstacle for the Black Caps will be getting over something that has always haunted New Zealand cricket, inconsistency,” he said.

“At this stage of the tournament sides need complete team performances. Fielding has to be top notch and you’ve got to have four maybe five guys putting their hand up on the days, that’s across the board with your bowlers and the batters. Someone will have to get a big score and bat throughout the innings with other batting around them, while the bowlers will have to be hitting the mark,” he concludes.