What is the difference between Daniel Vettori and Brian
Tamaki? The Black Caps do not bow when they approach Vettori .
. . yet.
Whether it is by circumstance or Machiavellian design, the
left-arm spinner has acquired enough power to dim the
environmentally friendly and energy-efficient lights over
He's now a selector, the stand-in coach, the captain, a
leading bowler and one of our best batsmen.
With former coach Andy Moles dispatched, Vettori's grip on
the reins is complete.
Even Brendon McCullum's voice in the dressing rooms has been
muted by his public demotion from the vice-captaincy.
The cricket community and the media seemed to be in unison
over Moles' departure.
No-one, it appeared, was willing to suggest a mutiny had
taken place or player power was getting out of hand.
Less than a year into his three-year contract, former
Warwickshire opener Moles walked the plank with barely a
squeak - no doubt silenced, to an extent, by the size of his
Before splashdown he meekly complained about not being given
the time to improve, and he rejected the perception he was
ill-equipped to take the national side forward.
Given he got the job only when several higher-profile
candidates withdrew, criticism was directed at New Zealand
Cricket for rushing into the appointment.
Moles' fate had been sealed by a poor report card on which
the country's leading players questioned whether he was up to
Some of the same players flexed their muscle earlier in the
year, when they delayed signing their national contracts
until they had clarity around whether the inbound Australian
tour would clash with the lucrative Indian Premier League
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi singled McCullum out for trying
to exploit a loophole in the tournament rules which would
allow him to play in the IPL as a free agent.
It was unfair to highlight McCullum's name when fellow New
Zealanders Vettori, Jacob Oram, Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder and
Kyle Mills also delayed putting pen to paper.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said he
saw no point in "having a huge stand-off with our leading
players" and eventually a compromise was reached, with the
planned three-test series cut to two matches.
The tail wagged the dog, Vaughan did not add.
It has been a turbulent start to what is a big summer for the
Black Caps, and if it all goes wrong, Vettori is the only one
left to blame.
And, aside from a few easy games against Bangladesh in
February, the next five months could bring a lot of pain for
the national side.
With three tests against Pakistan in November and December,
and two twenty/20 fixtures, five one-dayers and two tests
against Australia in late February and March, the Vettori
show faces a daunting challenge.
He is a wonderful cricketer and, arguably, New Zealand's best
since Martin Crowe.
The question is whether he has been saddled with too much.
He is still relatively new to the captaincy, having taken
over from Stephen Fleming in November 2007.
And his appointment as a national selector in August this
year was unprecedented.
Even Fleming, whose captaincy skills were highly regarded,
never acquired such power.
Moles' replacement is unlikely to be appointed before the end
of the summer and, even then, it is likely Vettori will have
a big say in who gets the job.
Enough is enough.