Same XI will have chance to address flaws exposed in big loss

The Big Dipper at Luna Park plunged from a height of 16m.

The old wooden roller coaster thrilled countless people for more than 40 years until it was decommissioned in 1979.

Otago plummeted from a nine-wicket win on Sunday to a 193-run defeat on Wednesday.

No-one in the camp enjoyed the roller-coaster ride, especially coach Rob Walter.

But there will be no dismantling taking place. Walter has stuck with the same side which played in both games.

The players will get an opportunity to address some of their flaws when the team hosts Central Districts at the University of Otago Oval tomorrow.

There is competition at the top of the to-do list. But a good place to start would be to address the running between the wickets.

It has been terrible for the past few seasons and the Volts lost another two wickets that way in the colossal loss to Wellington mid-week.

The extras column included an eye-watering 27 wides, and Otago's batting fragility revealed itself again. The batsmen floundered on what was a bouncy track at the Basin Reserve.

"It is tough to put your finger on why you can go from one extreme to the other in such a short space of time,'' Walter said.

"In truth, the experience of our batting line-up was exposed a little bit in those conditions.

"A guy like Anaru Kitchen is a guy who needs to step up for us in those type of circumstances and he got himself run out. That was [basically] the end of our batting effort.

"But in my opinion we need to focus on what we did well against Northern Districts and not what did poorly against Wellington.''

Walter was not overly concerned about the amount of extras his side conceded. While it was an erratic bowling display, generally the bowling has been reasonably disciplined.

"The execution was off and there is no excuse for that amount of wides - it is just not good enough.

"But it is not as if we can't do it. Just one game ago we bowled eight wides, so it is not like this is a reoccurring trend. This is the first time this season we've bowled poorly like that.''

As far as the running between the wickets is concerned, Walter said the players needed to be more aware where the fielders were and communicate better.

"When run-outs happen it is because the communication is not clear, it is not loud enough and it happens late.''

It might also pay if the batsmen look at their partner and not the ball. That has happened too often lately.

Tomorrow's game will be the earliest in the season Otago has hosted a game at the University of Otago Oval or Carisbrook.

There is some rain in the forecast which highlights the threat of scheduling a game in Dunedin in early November.

Walter said the ground was in great condition but expected the pitch, given the cool temperatures and the rain during the past few weeks, would be "quite slow''.

That ought to be more comfortable for Otago's batting line-up. It is also the side's first game at home this season.

In the other games, Auckland will host Canterbury and Wellington is at home to Northern Districts.


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