Turmoil-hit New Zealand depart for Pakistan series

Updated: 27 October 2009 09:16 IST

New Zealand aimed to put behind them the turmoil of the sudden departure of coach Andy Moles as they left for a series of ODIs and T20s against Pakistan.

Turmoil-hit New Zealand depart for Pakistan series

Wellington:

New Zealand aimed to put behind them the turmoil of the sudden departure of coach Andy Moles as they left on Tuesday for a series of One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches against Pakistan.

The series in the United Arab Emirates features three One-Day Internationals in Abu Dhabi from November 3, followed by two Twenty20 Internationals on November 12 and 13 in Dubai.

Moles announced his resignation on Saturday after reports the team had lost confidence in the 48-year-old coach because he was not providing the technical and tactical guidance they wanted.

Daniel Vettori, already loaded with responsibilities as New Zealand's captain, leading allrounder and selector, now has the added burden of acting coach as well.

New Zealand Cricket is targeting the home series against Bangladesh in February for a new coach -- yet to be named -- to start work.

Vettori's team is also without a vice-captain, after wicketkeeper and opening batsman Brendon McCullum was relieved of the job last week in the hope he can instead recover his best batting form.

The upheaval has obscured the fact New Zealand was on an upswing in one-day cricket after earlier this month reaching the final of the Champions Trophy in South Africa, where they lost to Australia.

The Kiwis lie fourth on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) one-day rankings after their strong Champions Trophy performance, one place ahead of Pakistan.

Vettori's team have won their last five One-Day Internationals against Pakistan, the last being their five-wicket victory in the Champions Trophy semi-final at Johannesburg on October 3.

But New Zealand's captain is wary of the enigmatic Asian team.

"We'll face a near full-strength side and we know they can be a great team. In a lot of ways we resemble them with our own inconsistencies," Vettori said.

Pace bowler Kyle Mills said New Zealand can't wait to get back on the field and leave the controversies behind them.

"We're pretty keen to get over there, it's a really important series for us to carry on where we left off in South Africa and start the season for us," Mills said Tuesday.

"Hopefully us senior guys can step up in this tour and fill the mould of what needs to be done for this coming season."

Injuries mean New Zealand are without batsman Jesse Ryder, allrounder Grant Elliott and pace bowler Daryl Tuffey.

Debutant batsman BJ Watling has been brought into the side, which also features the return of veteran allrounder Scott Styris and young quick bowler Tim Southee.

Pakistan will travel to New Zealand in November ahead of a three Test series.

Pakistan was originally scheduled to play a home series against New Zealand but the matches were moved due to security concerns after the attack on the Sri Lankan team earlier this year in Lahore, in which eight people died.



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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