Vettori resigns from NZ Test captaincy

Wellington: Daniel Vettori`s none-too-impressive stint as New Zealand captain ended on a sour note with his team losing the two-Test series against Pakistan 1-0.

Vettori today confirmed that he would be stepping down from the captaincy after the World Cup, making the second Test at the Basin Reverse here his last at the helm.

The New Zealander, since taking over from Stephen Fleming in November 2007, had often said that he would relinquish the captaincy after the 2011 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the sub-continent from February 19-April 2.

"I made that decision three and a half years ago," Vettori said.

"So that`s it. My timing was always to finish after the World Cup and that stays the same."

Vettori`s stint as skipper has been a disappointing one for New Zealand, as the Test team saw a dip in form.

Under the left-arm spinner, New Zealand have won just six Tests, with four of them coming against Bangladesh, and one each against England and Pakistan, apart from 18 defeats and 13 draws. In the 13 series that Vettori led, New Zealand lost on nine occasions.

The 31-year-old, however, made it clear that he has given his best during his tenure.

"There are always regrets, you always want to perform better. But I can walk away from the captaincy thinking that I gave it everything, particularly with my performance," Vettori said.

As captain, Vettori took 116 Test wickets at an average of 33.38, and hit four centuries and nine fifties to aggregate 1917 runs.

Vettori said the wins against England and Pakistan have been the high points for him as captain.

"The Test win against England and the Test win against Pakistan last year were highlights. Just seeing a group of young guys come into the team. It`s a vastly different outfit from the one I started captaining and I think there are some really talented players there," he said.

Despite stepping down from the captaincy, Vettori said he would continue to play Test cricket and has no plans of retirement as yet.

"Test cricket is the part of the game I love. I want to play for as long as I can. There are still a lot of things I want to achieve, so there`s no way I`m stepping away from Test cricket."

He will lead the team in the upcoming one-day series against Pakistan and also in the World Cup. "We`ve got six one-dayers and then the big World Cup, so there`s still a lot of captaincy to come. So that last game - hopefully the World Cup final, that`s when the weight [of the captaincy] will be lifted," Vettori said.