Will quit as coach if it helps the team: Greatbatch

Wellington: Attributing the recent drubbing at the hands of India on lack of mental toughness, the coach of New Zealand cricket team Mark Greatbatch said that the players found ways to lose after an encouraging start to the tour.

Expressing his disbelief, Greatbatch said, “The tour started pretty positively. We’d got ourselves into a position to perform better. And then to end like that was not a great feeling. It was pretty disappointing and embarrassing to an extent.”

Accepting that 11 consecutive ODI losses were quite shocking, the coach said that although he is not a quitter but he was ready to step down for the betterment of New Zealand cricket if asked to do so.

“I’ve been asked to do this job through to the World Cup and I’m committed to that. If it’s in the best interests of New Zealand cricket to make a change I’d accept that,” Greatbatch said to the New Zealand media.

“At the end of the day it is about us winning games and becoming better. We are struggling to find that consistency and if it’s me, it’s me,” he added.

New Zealand lost back-to-back ODI series. First, they were outplayed by Bangladesh 4-0 and then lost 0-5 to a second string Indian team.

The former cricketer emphasised that the players were unable to make good decisions on consistent basis, however, he said that he had no issue with the efforts put in by the players.

“The decision-making that these guys have to do – along with the opposition - every ball, batting, bowling or fielding, we did it in pockets,” he said.

“You can have the odd bad period, but you can’t have continued bad phases in a game, whether it’s losing wickets early or starting badly with the ball. We tended to have a cross-section of the above. It’s mismanagement of the mental game.”

The former left-handed batsman said, “When you’re losing eight, nine, 10 in a row you try to relax things, you want them to play their natural game. You don’t want to complicate things too much. I don’t think it was a lack of trying.”

The coach, however, hailed the effort of Wellington allrounder James Franklin and said, “He was exceptional, made a lot of good decisions, looked calm and got his reward.”

Franklin, who was roped in for the last three ODIs, responded with 72 not out and a 69-ball unbeaten 98, the only bright spot in the New Zealand armoury.

Yesterday skipper Daniel Vettori had said that senior players, including himself, must take the blame for the debacle.


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