Bangalore: Facing the challenge of avoiding a series whitewash, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori today asked the top-order batsmen to respond to the tough situation as they face a rampaging India in the fourth ODI on Tuesday.
New Zealand are down 0-3 and the Kiwi skipper said it’s time that the players of his side wake up and perform.
“Each individual has to stand up and perform well. It is missing. We need couple of top order batsmen coming good in the next two matches. What we have to do tomorrow is to have to be clear in our minds and perform the roles that we need to do,” Vettori said on the eve of the penultimate match of the series.
The Kiwi skipper blamed the flop show of batsmen for the embarrassing situation they have landed in.
“Reasons for the three-match drubbing is relatively simple and unfortunate. We failed to post enough runs on the board by trying different things. We did not put pressure on the Indian batsmen.
“In this part of the world you need to be harder with the ball and make it straight. It is number of things and we just trying to make improvements to give us a bit of performance,” Vettori said.
The left-arm spinner though was full of praise for the host batsmen especially his counterpart Gautam Gambhir, who struck back-to-back centuries to lead India to series win.
“The Indian batsmen having been playing extremely well, particularly Gambhir. We got to find a way to stop him.”
Vettori was hopeful that Brendon McCullam, who is still not comfortable with his back, would do the duty behind the wickets.
“Hope he keeps wickets. His back is still giving him a bit of trouble. It is difficult to keep wickets with a sore back. He is on for the game tomorrow morning and is progressing and getting better. I am just hoping that he keeps wickets but I am not hundred per cent sure,” he said.
Talking about the wicket, Vettori said, “I just got to ask Ross Taylor as he knows a lot more than I do. It has got lot more grass on it and probably not damp but little sticky. We need to see what the change is going to be in the next 24 hours. We would take a decision tomorrow.”
On possible changes in his team for the match, he said, “I think the present lot is good enough to win the game but there may be a couple of changes here and there.”
Vettori gave hint that their consultant for coaches Duncan Fletcher may not continue after the India tour and also disclosed that their Cricket Board is keen to appoint Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling coach.
“I think our Board had talked to Mushtaq on spin bowling. Duncan (Fletcher) has come in under the same set of umbrella for batting. He has lot of ideas on bowling, fielding and batting. He has come and trying to help the guys as much as possible.
“It has been good because there are fresh boys and the rut we are in, it is good to have people like him. Something we do and some things we could improve on. He is there till end of this tour and after that, I am not too sure,” he said.
Asked if he is worried the way Ross Taylor is getting out Vettori replied, “Ross has been performing well and has a good record for a long time. We are hopeful that he is comfortable here in Bangalore. Obviously this is a real turning point for him in the series.”