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Coach Wright feels Kiwi batsmen need to step up

Last updated on: December 14, 2011 11:10 IST

Coach Wright feels Kiwi batsmen need to step up

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While New Zealand basks in the glory of a first Test match win over Australia in more than 18 years, national cricket coach John Wright put the victory in perspective and again told his top order batsmen they must put more runs on the board.

- 2nd Test PIX: Bracewell's fiery spell helps Kiwis win thriller

The Black Caps beat Australia by seven runs in the second Test at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Monday to record their first win over their closest neighbours since 1993, and first across the Tasman since 1985.

New Zealand will look to build on the victory when they host Zimbabwe early next year before South Africa, the world's third ranked Test side, arrive for a series in February and March.

Wright, a former New Zealand opening batsman, said his batters would have to improve.

"We won a Test match without scoring 300 runs in any innings, which usually isn't enough," said Wright, who had urged his batsmen to raise their game after a nine-wicket loss in the first Test in Brisbane.

Image: John Wright


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'If you're not getting runs then your position becomes part of speculation'

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"The expectation in the top six is that you have to get runs. I'm fairly confident we have got the best players, but we just didn't handle the conditions particularly well.

"In the end if you're not getting runs then your position becomes part of speculation. You can't not score runs and expect to make the team."

Neither side scored more than 240 in an innings in the Hobart match with only Australian opener David Warner (123 not out) and New Zealand's Ross Taylor and Dean Brownlie passing 50.

Of particular concern for Wright is the poor form of Jesse Ryder, who was shunted up and down the order and scored just 58 runs at 14.50 in the Australia Tests.

Opener Martin Guptill, who scored 44 runs at 11.00, fared little better. None of the top-five batsmen averaged more than 20 in the series.


Image: Ross Taylor


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'We haven't played many Tests and I think that shows'

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It was New Zealand's bowlers that made the difference in the second Test on a difficult batting pitch, with 21-year-old medium pacer Doug Bracewell taking six for 40 in Australia's second innings to steer his side to victory.

The Black Caps aggressive batsmen failed to curb their enthusiasm in the first Test in Brisbane, but were much better on the green-topped Bellerive wicket.

"They did try to be a bit more disciplined," Wright said. "There was more application but we need to see a bit more. That's an area we need to improve upon.

"It's a very different game these days because they play so much Twenty20 and One-day cricket. We haven't played many Tests and I think that shows."

Image: New Zealand's Doug Bracewell (left) celebrates after dismissing Australia's Nathan Lyon


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'Let's hope we can show the fighting qualities against SA'

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"I think we have got some good young batsmen learning their trade and we have to be patient with those who we identify who have the want to improve every time they go to the crease."

While happy with the second Test victory, Wright said it was still too early to determine if Hobart was a defining moment for the team.

"It's better coming back home with a victory over Australia than not," he said. "People do tend to get a bit carried away with a victory. We'll let the dust settle and prepare for Zimbabwe.

"Then we have South Africa, who are very formidable opponents. Let's hope that we can show some of the qualities, the fighting qualities, people saw (in Hobart).

"Winning and losing happens in sport but if the public are watching a fighting cricket team that goes a long way."

Image: New Zealand players celebrate after winning the 2nd Test vs Australia in Hobart on Monday


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