Kiwi Cricketers Lacked Mental Strength: Coach Greatbatch

Auckland, Dec 14 (IANS) New Zealand cricket coach Mark Greatbatch feels the Kiwi cricketers lacked in mental toughness during their just-concluded India tour, where the team failed to win a single match.

The New Zealand team is on a 11-match losing streak in limited overs cricket, after a 0-4 drubbing by minnows Bangladesh and a 0-5 whitewash against India.

Greatbatch said the team started the India tour on a bright note, drawing two Test matches in the series they eventually lost 0-1.

"The tour started pretty positively. We had got ourselves into a position to perform better. Then to end like that was not a great feeling. It was pretty disappointing and embarrassing to an extent," Greatbatch was quoted as saying.

"The decision-making that these guys have to make - along with the opposition - every ball, batting, bowling or fielding, we did it in pockets. You can have the odd bad period but you cannot have continued bad phases in a game, whether it is losing wickets early or starting badly with the ball.

"We tended to have a cross-section of the above. It is mismanagement of the mental game," said Greatbatch.

"I have always been a big believer that when you are not mentally right, your body does not function the way you want it to. You probably see the physical side of a shot being played, but it is produced by a mind not quite being clear."

He singled out the performance all-rounder James Franklin as a rare bright spot in the One-day series. Franklin was drafted in for the last three matches and made the most of this opportunity, smashing unbeaten knocks of 72 and 98 in the third and fourth One-dayers.

"He was exceptional, made a lot of good decisions, looked calm and got his reward. Other players did not play as consistently well mentally for long enough," Greatbatch said.


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