Mark Greatbatch willing to step down if asked


Mark Greatbatch, the New Zealand coach, has said he is willing to step down if asked, following a run of 11 successive defeats in ODIs. New Zealand Cricket will be conducting a comprehensive review of the team’s performance, and Greatbatch’s position could be under scrutiny, though the board has retained Daniel Vettori as captain.

“If it’s in the best interests of New Zealand cricket to make a change, I’d accept that,” Greatbatch said, upon his team’s arrival in New Zealand from India, where it was beaten 5-0. “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.”

Greatbatch, however, said his original tenure – which began in January this year – was until the 2011 World Cup and was keen to stay on until then. “I’ve been asked to do this job through to the World Cup and I’m committed to that.”

Greatbatch said his main focus at the time of his appointment was batting. “In the public’s eyes I’m the coach, but in reality I took the job as the batting coach and as a person to help Dan in other areas like selection and to take the load off him at times.

“I feel for Dan at the moment. He is pretty battered and bruised but he keeps going. He was ill in that last game, but he kept it to himself.”

Though New Zealand had a bitter experience in the subcontinent in their preparation for the World Cup, with series defeats against Bangladesh and India, they have an opportunity to make amends against Pakistan at home. The teams play six ODIs as part of a full series, and a change in the batting order was one of the things Greatbatch was looking to try out.

“We had some plans for the one-day series in India but with Ryder going home injured we couldn’t do it. He’s open to it [batting down the order], it’s not a foreign idea to him. I think he can do it. It’s an older ball, he’s a left-hander, he plays spin well and is a power player.

“We were also going to try Brendon [McCullum] down the order for a couple of games with a view to getting an idea what our best line-up is, but he was injured too for a while.”
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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