WRIGHT CALLS FOR DISCIPLINE

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New Zealand coach John Wright wants to see the top and middle order “functioning better” in order to peg Pakistan back in the second Test, which gets under way in Wellington on Saturday.

Pakistan inflicted a crushing 10-wicket defeat on their hosts last week in Hamilton, where the New Zealand batsmen – trailing by 92 after the first innings – were bundled out for 110 inside 39 overs to allow the tourists to wrap up the match inside three days.

None of the Black Caps batsmen could go beyond opener Brendon McCullum’s 35 as wickets fell in quick succession, new left-arm bowling pair Abdur Rehman and Wahab Riaz sharing six between them.

Wright knows the key to success in Test matches is spending time at the crease – a mantra the Kiwi batsmen had completely forgotten in the first Test, to put them on the back foot in the two-Test series.

“Whatever we plan, and they’re pretty simple plans, we’ve got to be disciplined enough to get the job done,” Wright said.

“You find in sport it’s about hard work, learning from your mistakes and having the real inner desire to personally succeed.

“We’ve got players who have got that. We’ve got to try to get that top order functioning better.”

The hosts are also contemplating some changes in their bid to deny Pakistan their first away series victory in over four years.

Since the state of the Basin Reserve pitch is likely to provide more pace and bounce than at Seddon Park, all-rounder James Franklin could replace struggling Tim McIntosh, which will also bring variety to the pace attack.

The New Zealand pace department featured a trio of right-arm medium-fast bowlers in Hamilton and failed to contain Pakistan’s batsmen, who ran away with a 92-run lead after New Zealand were all out for 275.

“You’ve got to consider all options and here, there’s a little bit more grass on this wicket,” added Wright.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq urged his players to deliver the knockout punch in the second Test.

“Our best policy for the upcoming match will be to go for a win, rather than just consolidate our 1-0 lead,” Misbah told www.PakPassion.net.

The 36-year-old, however, warned against complacency and said there was still plenty of room for improvement as “New Zealand will come hard at us”.

Misbah, who has hit four half-centuries since being appointed Test captain, believes Pakistan can ignore the shortcomings of the first Test at their own peril.

“What I would like to see is for our batsmen, myself included, to ensure that we make full use of our good starts, and ensure that we bat for long periods,” he said “If a similar situation to Hamilton presents itself, we should ensure that we earn a bigger lead than 92.”

Warning his team-mates of a potential backlash, the skipper added: “We need to be wary of the fact that New Zealand will come hard at us. We will need to work even harder and ensure that we are even more focused in Wellington.”
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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