Cricket boss David White has attacked the performance of New
Zealand's batsmen in their soft, first-test routing by Sri
New Zealand, having started the third day on an even footing
with the hosts, lost nine for 83 in 31.5 overs to hand Sri
Lanka a 10-wicket win.
It was New Zealand's fifth successive test loss, only the
second time in history that embarrassing mark has been
And New Zealand Cricket chief executive White was offering no
"I understand the anger and frustration of the fans," the
former test batsman said. "What was particularly concerning
was the lack of resistance we showed after a good bowling
performance the day before.
"To lose all those wickets in such a short time was a big
White was reluctant to specify mental or technical
shortcomings as the prime cause, preferring to defer to NZC
manger of cricket John Buchanan, who is in Sri Lanka, and
coach Mike Hesson.
"But there's no question we've got some areas of technique we
need to address around spin bowling. There's a common theme
coming through and certainly I'll be discussing that with
them on their return."
White did confirm there was support for sending players to
the sub-continent during the New Zealand winter to gain
knowledge on how to play spin bowling, in particular.
"The way we attack spin is going to be crucial, and being
positive," captain Ross Taylor said before the test.
"Obviously a lot of teams think it's a weakness of ours. But
if we can show it as a strength, play positive and aggressive
cricket to their spinners, it all bodes well."
In fact, the opposite happened and the perception of New
Zealand batsmen against quality spin bowling has only
It seems daft to ignore the fact a large chunk of New
Zealand's cricket is played in that part of the world.
In the course of the five losses in the West Indies, India
and now Sri Lanka, 62 of the 100 New Zealand wickets have
been taken by spinners.
New Zealand have appeared clueless in how to handle the likes
of West Indian Sunil Narine, Indians Ravi Ashwin and Pragyan
Ojya and now 11-wicket Sri Lankan hero Rangana Herath.
White strongly rejected any suggestion that captain Ross
Taylor should be in the firing line for the weak collective
"I think we are all accountable in the organisation, me as
CEO, John Buchanan, Mike Hesson and the players, and no one
is going to hide from that responsibility."
However, he disputed that New Zealand's image as a major
test-playing nation was being significantly tarnished by
"No, I think there is still a degree of respect there, but we
need to continue to earn that respect and enhance it. It
hasn't been a good few years, no question of that.
"There's no room for excuses. We need to be stronger, address
it and turn it around."
The second test starts in Colombo on Sunday.
- By David Leggat of the New Zealand Herald